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Africa
UK warns Sudan of fresh sanctions
Sudan must stick to peace agreements for Darfur conflict, minister says.
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2007 03:57 GMT
An estimated 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes by the conflict in Darfur [EPA]

Britain's minister for Africa has warned Sudan that it faces more sanctions unless it keeps agreements to promote peace in the war-torn region of Darfur.
 
Speaking at the United Nations on Wednesday, foreign office minister Lord David Triesman accused Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president of seeking a military solution to the conflict.
He said al-Bashir faced a critical test in early spring which would demonstrate whether he is committed to ending the four-year conflict.
 
Fighting in Darfur has killed more than 200,000 people and forced 2.5 million to flee from their homes.
Triesman said continuing attacks by some rebel groups in Darfur and the bad behavior of countries backing them did not excuse the Sudanese government from observing a cease-fire.
 
He said al-Bashir must implement a three-phase UN package it agreed to in November to help end the escalating violence in Darfur.
 
Destitute
 
Sudan, he said, "has not observed the cease-fire, has committed military forces to try to achieve military solutions, has not disarmed any of the (pro-government) janjaweed (militia), and has not really engaged in a political process as contrasted with a military process."
 
The result, he said, was that conditions on the ground are getting worse and worse, while humanitarian organizations are finding it more difficult to get aid "to destitute, starving, dying people".
 
The 7,000-strong African Union force on the ground in Darfur was powerless to intervene, he said.
 
The UN package is supposed to culminate with the deployment of a 22,000-strong "hybrid" force of African Union and UN peacekeepers.
 
But in January al-Bashir said UN troops were not required in Darfur because the African Union force on the ground could maintain order.
 
In tune
 
Triesman said that Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, was still awaiting an official reply from al-Bashir to his January 24 letter outlining the UN's positions on the hybrid force, command and control, and funding.
 
"It will be an important indication of whether he is in tune with the international community whether he responds urgently," he said.
 
The Darfur conflict began when rebels from ethnic African tribes rose up against the central government.
 
Khartoum is accused of having responded with indiscriminate killings by unleashing the janjaweed militias of Arab nomads - blamed for the worst atrocities in Darfur.
 
The government denies these charges.
Source:
Agencies
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