Sudan PM meets Darfur rebel chief in ‘essential’ step to peace: Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as he arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, September 30, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 30 September 2019

Sudan PM meets Darfur rebel chief in ‘essential’ step to peace: Macron

  • Hamdok said that his meeting with Nour involved “very profound exchanges.”
  • “The Sudanese deserve to finally live in peace and security,” Macron said

PARIS: Sudan’s prime minister has met a senior Darfur rebel leader living in France, President Emmanuel Macron said Monday, hailing an “essential step” for peace in the troubled east African nation.
“We facilitated talks that Prime Minister (Abdalla) Hamdok had yesterday with Abdel Wahid Nour, who is in our country,” Macron said at a press conference with Hamdok after talks in Paris.
“I think the step taken yesterday is an essential step,” he added. “The Sudanese deserve to finally live in peace and security.”
Hamdok said that his meeting with Nour, which he had expected to last 30 minutes, went on for nearly three hours and involved “very profound exchanges.”
“We discussed the roots of the Sudanese crisis and possibilities for a solution and... we are going to lay the first stones for this edifice of peace,” he said.
Darfur fell into widespread conflict in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated government of Omar Al-Bashir, who was toppled in April this year.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the years-long conflict in Darfur and more than two million displaced, according to the United Nations.


Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

Updated 24 min 8 sec ago

Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

  • Probe launched into cause of Monday’s incident as Taliban claim responsibility for shooting down jet

KABUL: Afghan security forces have so far been unable to reach the crash site of a US military aircraft which went down during a mission on Monday in a Taliban-controlled area of the country.
An investigation is underway to determine what caused the Bombardier E-11A plane to crash in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, about 120 km southwest of Kabul, although the Taliban have claimed responsibility for shooting it down.

“The Taliban have mined the area, and security forces could not make it to the site to retrieve the bodies and recover the aircraft last evening. The Taliban had laid an ambush as security forces tried to reach the site,” Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni’s provincial council, told Arab News.
He added that other US aircraft had attempted to land in the area overnight but were forced back due to bad weather.
Aref Noori, a spokesman for Ghanzi’s governor, said: “Afghan and foreign forces are preparing a joint plan to go to the site to see what they can do.”
Authorities have yet to determine how many passengers and crew were on board.
Several members of the provincial council said they had heard from locals that four people on board the plane had escaped the site of the crash soon after it came down. However, the reports could not be confirmed by the US military or other officials.
The crash comes amid a push by the Taliban and US diplomats to restart peace talks which are aimed at ending the 18-year-old conflict in the country.