US submits Darfur draft resolution

The US has circulated a draft resolution urging UN peacekeepers in Sudan to back their African Union counterparts in Darfur.

    The US seeks a rapid deployment of UN peacekeepers in Sudan

    The US text was circulated on Monday as George Bush, the US president, announced that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, would address the Security Council on Tuesday to seek a rapid deployment of peacekeepers in Sudan.

    The move followed last week's peace agreement in Abuja, Nigeria, between Khartoum and the main Darfur rebel faction.

    The US text would call on Khartoum to co-operate fully and allow a UN assessment team to travel to the vast, western Sudanese region to prepare the ground for the deployment of a UN force to eventually take over peacekeeping from the African Union.

    John Bolton, the US ambassador to the UN, said the aim of the draft was "to accelerate the planning and assistance both for the transition to a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur, as well as to strengthen the hand of the African Union force that's deployed there".
    The Abuja accord was signed by the Sudanese government and the main faction of the Sudanese Liberation Movement, led by Minna Minnawi, last Friday.
    But another rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, and a smaller faction of the divided SLM, led by Abd al-Wahid al-Nur, refused to sign it.



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