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Rawlings holds talks with Sudan’s Al Bashir on Somalia

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Ghana’s Former President and African Union (AU) High Representative for Somalia, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings has called on Sudan to support the peace process in Somalia.

He said Sudan could play this role by providing counsel to the Somali leadership on how best to address their challenges.

Former President Rawlings said unity of purpose was required in order to bring peace to Somalia.

The AU High Representative who was speaking during a call on Sudanese President, Omar Al Bashir in Khartoum called for a candid engagement of Somali opposition groups in dialogue.

Flt Lt Rawlings said he was consulting leaders of IGAD (Six-nation East African Inter-governmental Authority on Development) countries and all troop contributing countries to ensure that there was consensus on how to tackle the Somalia problem.

President Bashir said Sudan has been preoccupied by the Somalia problem since its eruption 20 years ago and had played a positive role in trying to control the problem.

He said he was pleased by Ex President Rawlings visit and acknowledged that his role was a difficult one.

The Sudanese President expressed his support for the AU High Representative’s role and called for a concise plan towards addressing the Somalia crisis.

He said Somalia needed a strong government, which could sustain peace and security.

He disclosed that Sudan had supported Somalia, particularly in the area of education, saying there are some 600 Somali students in Sudanese universities and 3,000 in general educations.

President Rawlings has already held talks with Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi and is due to hold discussions with Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni on Friday.

Source: GNA

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