Sudan squabbles over UN troops

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has sharply criticised the National Congress Party, its partner in the national unity government, for rejecting UN peacekeepers in the country.

    Sudan's president is opposed to UN troops in Darfur

    Yasser Arman, SPLM spokesman, said his movement had not been consulted over the government stance rejecting the deployment of UN troops in Darfur region.

    He pointed out that the SPLM have no objections to the deployment of UN troops in Darfur.

    On Friday, Omar al-Bechir, the Sudanese president, reiterated his opposition to an international peacekeeping force in Darfur.

    In an interview with a French magazine, the Sudanese leader was quoted as saying he was "suspicious of the desire of the United States to internationalise the Darfur conflict".

    Highlighting this resistance to foreign troops, the Sudan government ordered Chadian military personnel working with AU truce monitors in its western Darfur region to leave on Saturday.

    Chadian-Sudanese relations have deteriorated in recent months with both sides accusing the other of supporting guerrillas working in Sudan's remote west, which has a long, porous border with Chad.

    In Gambia, a summit of more than 50 African heads of states opened on Saturday, with the aim of pursuing regional integration, but conflicts in Darfur and Somalia will be topping the agenda.

    The leaders are expected to focus much attention and time to seek solutions to the conflicts in Sudan's western Darfur region from where the African Union is adamant it will pull out its poorly-equipped 7,000  strong force by September 30 to pave way for UN peacekeepers.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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