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Sudan's agony a shame on the entire world, Soyinka says.

Dubai: Nigerian Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka hit out at the situation in Sudan Monday night and said that the African country's agony was "a shame on the entire world."

Speaking to journalists after reciting his poetry at Madinat Jumeirah, he said Sudan belongs to "two families", the Arab world and Africa, and that both did nothing (about Darfur) over the years.

A majority of African citizens are treated as "second-class citizens" and there is no intervention on their behalf, he said.

Speaking about US President Barack Obama, Soyinka said he is a very lucky man. "Anyone who comes after [former president George] Bush, people just have to worship him," he said.

The poet said the Bert-rand Russell Foundation (which he supports along with other Nobel laureates) had invoked a resolution to try Bush for war crimes. Nobel laureates had met in Barcelona, Spain, and had appealed to the American people not to re-elect Bush for a second term so that he could be brought to justice, he said.

Soyinka, who is the only African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, said, "The world is in a mess, and I am not talking about the financial mess."

The poet said the resurgence of poetry has occurred because of the present state of the world.

The function of poetry is to give solace, said Soyinka.

"Some take to religion [during troubled times] and others take to poetry," he noted.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 11, 2009
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