KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan's leader welcomed on Monday "positive signs" sent by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Islamic world, striking a more conciliatory tone towards Washington, seen as an enemy of Khartoum in the past.
"We, our brothers and sisters, are seekers of peace and stability and we do not want our country to live under the shadows of swords and tension," President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said at the opening of the eighth session of parliament.
"Our hands remain held out to those who call for peace and justice in accordance with the standards of fairness and dignity," he added, echoing a phrase used by Obama in his inauguration address.
This man is as evil as they come and he must be defeated.
April 2009, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his contributions to the tragedy in Darfur. The ICC charged him with “ murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing, and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property.” Bashir’s military campaign has been accused of driving 2.7 million people from their homes since 2003.
Both former President Bush and President Obama have spoken out strongly against Bashir’s actions. Although we’ve imposed trade sanctions against Sudan, the U.S. still supplies the country with substantial amounts of sorghum and other food products. The U.S. also purchases from Sudan millions of dollars worth of gum Arabic, used in soft drinks, candy, and shoe polish. In 2008, U.S. trade with Sudan actually increased to $148 million.