He said on Friday resolving the security and humanitarian crisis there could take up to two years

 

Snyder suggested a political solution to the Darfur issue could be reached if it were based on a decentralised plan and complied with agreements reached with rebels in southern Sudan.

 

The senior representative blamed the Darfur rebels for aborting the Abuja peace talks with the Khartoum government.

 

He believed the rebels should not have interpreted Washington's stand on "ethnic cleansing" in the region as a signal to ratchet up their demands at the negotiating table.

 

He described Khartoum's response to the uprising as an "over-reaction", but added it was "also up to the [the rebels] to act in the best interest of Sudan".

 

Security Council has called for a
probe into the genocide claim

A UN Security Council resolution adopted on 18 September calls for an investigation into charges of genocide in Darfur, and warns Sudan of possible sanctions against its oil industry unless it protects the region's population.

 

Sudan said the resolution was unfair and hastily taken.

 

Lubbers visit

 

In a separate development, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said Sudan should grant more autonomy to Darfur.

 

After arriving in the Chadian capital N'djamena late on Thursday at the head of a high-powered delegation to address the exodus of more than 1.4 million refugees from the troubled region, Lubbers suggested in an interview that a political solution could end the violence in Darfur.

 

"They have to agree to a partition of power," Lubbers told reporters, referring to the Sudanese government.

  

Asked by reporters if he meant autonomy for Darfur, Lubbers said: "Yes".

  

"If the political will of the Sudanese authorities does not end the violence [to stabilise] the peace effort, we need the people of the AU"

Ruud Lubbers,
UN High Commissioner for Refugees

He also said the African Union (AU) would have to put pressure on Khartoum if the Sudanese Government did not take action.

  

"If the political will of the Sudanese authorities does not end the violence [to stabilise] the peace effort, we need the people of the AU," he said after a meeting with Chadian Prime Minister Moussa Faki.

  

Sudan's information minister said in August his government was ready to negotiate a power-sharing deal for Darfur.

 

Lubbers is due to travel to Darfur on Sunday to meet local leaders in al-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, before visiting other areas of the troubled region on Monday.

  

He is due to meet Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir in Khartoum on Tuesday.