Brown and Sarkozy warn Sudan

Khartoum's objections over new Darfur peacekeeping force comes in for criticism.

    Darfur is currently patrolled by an African Union force [AFP]

    Ban Ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, has said he believes new negotiations with Sudan may be necessary to allow other nations to contribute to the force.
     
    'African solutions'
     
    Ali Sadik, a Sudanese Government spokesman, told Al Jazeera any move to bring in non-African troops would be resisted: "The African Union calls for the solving of African problems by Africans themselves.
     
    "This is why we accepted the African Union participation and involvement in the Darfur problem."
     
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    The full 26,000-strong force, that is to replace a poorly-equipped AU contingent, is not expected to be on the ground before mid-2008.
     
    However Hassan al-Turabi, a Sudanese opposition leader and one of the leading critics of the government’s policy in Darfur, told Al Jazeera he would not oppose troops from outside Africa being deployed.
     
    "I know the record of African forces in the Congo and in West Africa, I follow it closely of course and it's not good.
     
    "The governments are not that democratic, the soldiers sometimes enjoy it here because they pay them a bit better, now they are inside the town, they are doing nothing actually.
     
    "I don't mind leadership from other countries."
     
    'Unacceptable progress'
     
    In their Times editorial, Brown and Sarkozy said British and French junior ministers would visit Sudan, including Darfur, as part of a diplomatic push to bring about a quick ceasefire.
     
    They said that only "a ceasefire, a peacekeeping force, economic reconstruction and the threat of sanctions can bring a political solution to the region".
     
    The pair vowed to "redouble our efforts to make further progress", noting that "the situation remains completely unacceptable".
     
    They also called for a political settlement that would allow Darfur to participate in Sudanese national elections in 2009.
     
    The UN has said that more than 200,000 people have died and more  than two million have been displaced by four years of conflict in Darfur.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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