France urges Sudan to push forward peace process

27th April 2010, Comments 0 comments

France "took note" Tuesday of the re-election of Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir, while alleging the vote was tainted by fraud and repeating its support for the war crimes tribunal that indicted him.

Beshir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges his forces massacred civilians in Darfur, was on Monday declared the victor of Sudan's first multi-party presidential election in two decades.

France, in a statement from its foreign ministry citing a report by European Union election monitors, said the vote was "marked by numerous irregularities and did not meet international standards".

Paris also gave its "full support to the action of the International Criminal Court in Sudan."

But, despite its reserves about Beshir and the conduct of the election, France said the vote ought to serve as an opportunity to push forward the peace process between Khartoum and former southern rebels.

In particular, the statement said Sudan's priority must now be to organise independence referendums in southern Sudan, one of the provisions of the peace deal that ended Africa's longest-running civil war.

© 2010 AFP

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