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Please show more consideration for Africa
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17:21, July 18, 2008

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Since the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) filed genocide charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on July 14, the international community and countries worldwide have taken varied stances and spoken in different voices, and the views of some African nations and regional organizations, however, deserve much attention.

The African Union (AU) said that the indictment of Al-Bashir will throw Sudan into a "total political turmoil" in a statement it issued. Tanzania, which is the chair of the AU, has noted that "the indictment process could destabilize Sudan and called on ICC to drop it. "The indictment exerts a grave negative impact on seeking a lasting resolution (of the Darfur issue)," it said. The Algerian government held that the indictment "implicated Sudan's stability and security" and so it could not be accepted.

Meanwhile, South African regarded the indictment of President Omar al-Bashir as a "stumbling bloc" to the political settlement of the Darfur issue. The Organization of Sahara and Sahelian States (CEN SAD) also denounced such a move as one to "sabotage the peace process of Sudan".

Anxious concerns and worries of African nations do not proceed from their inclined desire to shield their brother country. Owing to arduous, unremitting efforts taken in recent years, there has been a marked improvement in the political and economic situation in Africa. With the gradual phase-out of a large-scale war turmoil, the continent is embarking on a road of prosperity and growth. African nations know clearly and pretty well that it has been a no-easy job to achieve this substantial outcome. So they particularly treasure peace and stability and are averse to any moves that could possibly undermine peace and stability. Of course, Africa's development cannot do without constructive help of the international community, which should facilitate the region upgrading its capacity of tackling its own problems.

It has been a long-term aspiration of the African nations to seek their own ways to cope with internal problems. Generations of African leaders, from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU) as well as the plan - the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the New Collective Security Mechanism of African States, have dedicated themselves to building a united, powerful Africa, enhancing the capacity to settle their internal affairs and eventually spurring the rejuvenation of the whole African continent.

It is precisely owing to the objective of safeguarding the regional peace that the AU sent its peacekeepers to the Darfur region over three years ago. To date, a UN/AU (mixed) peacekeeping force for Darfur has gradually been put in place, and the Darfur peace process is producing a marked effect. Objectively speaking, the situation in the Darfur region is still at a very sensitive and critical moment. Parties concerned should be prudent with their deeds and try to avoid adding fresh complex factors to the Darfur issue via means of consultations for the settlement of their differences. Otherwise, no consideration can be said to have shown to African states and no recognition of populace be expected.

After several decades of incessant explorations, African nations have in fact accumulated some experience in an endeavor to resolve their problems. For instance, in case of a recent political crisis erupted from a hotly-contested presidential election in Kenya, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan worked hard for a quick resolution of the crisis. And it is precisely ascribed to the efforts of a panel of Eminent Africans led by Annan that the unrest in Kenya has been quelled.

The Zimbabwean issue is also a case in point. A few countries attempted to push for a resolution of the UN Security Council on further sanctions against Zimbabwe, but they met with resistance from some African nations. In fact, the AU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) had already got the parties both in power and in opposition to set together at the table for talks. And it has been reported that the talks has so far been proceeding well and smoothly.

"No sleep, no dream," some African optimists often quote this proverb native to the Africa continent. In the figurative extent of its meaning: We may ask when Africa would be able to settle problems in its own way if it were not given an opportunity to tackle these problems on its own? So, in a final analysis, issues concerning Africa are up to the Africans themselves to settle ultimately.

By People's Daily Online and its author is PD reporter Pei Guangjiang

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