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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:16, February 19, 2006
Sudan rejects accusation of genocide in Darfur
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Sudan on Saturday rejected accusation by U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice that genocide was taking place in Sudan's western region of Darfur.

"The accusation are untrue and contradicts all reports issued by the regional and international organizations including the United Nations," the Sudanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It stressed that Sudan would not yield to any pressure, and was serious about reaching a peaceful settlement with the Darfur rebels through negotiation, which is currently held in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Rice, whose country holds the presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month, repeated the charge on Thursday that genocide continued in Darfur, saying the U.S. efforts to push through a UN resolution to replace the financially-strapped 7,000-strong African Union (AU) force in Darfur with a U.N. peacekeeping mission were held up pending a request from the AU.

U.S. President George W. Bush said on Friday that it would require "probably double" the current number of AU peacekeepers and a coordinating role by the NATO to stop the violence in Darfur.

Bush and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer discussed ways to respond to the worsening situation in Darfur on Friday, two days after Bush's meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the same issue.

The AU Peace and Security Council will take a final decision in early March but the council agreed earlier "in principle" to the UN takeover of the peacekeeping operation in Darfur where tens of thousands of people have died in the three-year conflict.

Shifting from its previous refusal to accept any non-African troops in Darfur, Sudan has shown signs of softening its position towards a transition to a UN force.

Mostafa Osman Ismail, advisor of the Sudanese president, told a press conference last Thursday that the government had not yet taken final decision on the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Source: Xinhua

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