Sudan rejects UN resolution on Dafur

A UN draft resolution backed by the US and UK has met with resistance from the Sudanese government and the Arab League, who have both called for the UN security council to postpone a meeting planned for next week on Darfur.

    Arab League secretary-general with Sudan's foreign minister

    Mohamed Ali al-Madhi, Sudan's justice minister, told reporters in Khartoum on Sunday: "The British draft resolution that will be presented to the UN security council is full of wicked and misleading elements.

    "The draft resolution provides for deploying UN forces under chapter seven on grounds that the Sudan threatens the international peace and security without producing any argument supporting this allegation."

    Al-Madhi went on to say that the draft grants the UN forces the power to use all forms of military force "thus literally making of them forces of occupation".

    Omar al-Beshir, the Sudanese president, warned last week that his government would confront any UN-sponsored forces sent to Darfur.

    Arab resolution

    After a one-day meeting in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers have called for a reinforcement of the African Union (AU) mission already on the ground in the western Sudanese region and an extension of the mandate.

    The resolution passed by the Arab League council said: "[The council] asks the security council to give the Sudanese government more time to implement its plan to improve conditions and preserve security in Darfur, which it presented to the United Nations on August 2."

    It said: "It calls for the postponement of the UN security council meeting which is due to take place next week in New York...to allow time for consultation and coordination between regional organisations on the role of AU forces in Darfur."

    Rising violence

    The AU has about 7,000 soldiers struggling to halt violence in Darfur but the trouble has worsened since the government and the main Sudan Liberation Movement signed a peace deal in May, with other factions refusing to sign.

    Under the Sudanese plan, the Khartoum government would send 10,500 new government troops to Darfur.

    The rights group Human Rights Watch says the plan would violate a peace deal and was just a way to avert the deployment of UN peacekeepers.

    The US and its allies have argued that the AU forces do not have the manpower, resources or financial means to keep the peace there.

    An estimated 300,000 people have died and 2.4million more have fled their homes since the ethnic minority rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum in early 2003.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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