Sudan accepts Darfur peace plan

The Sudanese government appears to have accepted an African Union proposal to monitor a ceasefire with rebels in the western Darfur region.

    Darfur conflict has displaced around a million people

    According to an Omdurman radio report on Thursday, Khartoum handed the Chadian mediator its support for the new agreement.

    Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail refused to confirm whether his government had accepted all aspects of the AU ceasfire plan, but said Sudan's response was "positive and in conformity with the agreement."

    Parties other than the AU would finance the mechanism, removing fears that the body might lack the resources to do the job.

    Need for peace

    A plan to end a devastating civil war are urgently needed.

    Sudanese Jinjawid militias are
    accused of the worst rights abuses

    Human rights groups have described the region as a disaster area and blame Khartoum in large part.

    Washington has accused the Sudanese authories of a litany of abuses in Darfur, which it said made them unworthy of reelection to the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).

    Rights dispute

    But Ismail played down rights abuses and vowed his government would not be "intimidated" after US diplomats staged a walkout at the UN in protest at Sudan's reelection.

    State Humanitarian Affairs Minister Muhammad Yusuf Abd Allah also warned aid organisations not to take positions on the civil war in the region between rebel groups drawn from indigenous minorities and government troops and paramilitia supporters.

    The UN estimates that since the start of the Darfur rebellion in February last year well over a million people have fled their homes, with 95,000 of them taking refuge in neighbouring Chad.


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