Sudan rejects UN Darfur plan

Sudan's ruling party has rejected a draft UN resolution to deploy a 20,000-strong force to stem the violence in its western Darfur region, state media have reported.

    AU troops have failed to quell the violence in Darfur

    Britain has drafted a Security Council resolution to send 17,000 soldiers and 3,000 police to the vast region, and said it hoped that the resolution would be adopted by the end of August.

    But Khartoum has repeatedly rejected proposals for a UN mission in Darfur, which some government officials call an attempt to colonise the country, and did so again in response to the British plan.

    Warning

    Ghazi Salaheddin, head of the ruling National Congress Party's (NCP) parliamentary body, is quoted by the state-owned news agency Suna on Thursday, as saying that "any country that would adopt this resolution would be from a hostile position towards Sudan and thus it is rejected and non-negotiable".
     

    Lam Akol says Sudan's position
    has not changed 

    Lam Akol, the foreign minister, said on Thursday of the draft resolution: "Our position hasn't changed."

    Many opposition parties support UN deployment to Darfur and war victims, including many of the 2.5 million who fled to makeshift camps during the fighting, have asked for the world body to intervene since the conflict began in early 2003.

    But the NCP, which dominates government and parliament, refuses.

    ICC arrests

    Critics say they fear that UN troops would be used to arrest any officials likely to be indicted by the International Criminal Court investigating alleged war crimes in the region.

    Khartoum gave a plan to the Security Council this month offering to send 10,500 government troops to secure Darfur.

    About 2.5 million people have
    been displaced by the conflict

    But rights groups have balked at the idea as many of the war victims say the government is behind the violence.
     
    Tens of thousands of people have been killed in three-and-a-half years of fighting in Darfur since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms accusing the central government of neglect and discrimination.

    Washington calls the violence genocide, a charge Khartoum rejects.

    About 7,000 African Union troops have failed to quell the violence in Darfur and are struggling to find cash even to pay the salaries of their soldiers.

    While the AU has expressed support for a UN takeover, the NCP said the pan-African body did so under pressure from Western nations, which refuse to fund the AU mission.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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