Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir reiterated here on Saturday that the Sudanese government would not accept the UN's takeover of the peacekeeping mission in Sudan's restive western Darfur region from the African Union (AU).
"If the AU forces cannot carry out their mission because of financial problems, they should leave without looking for a substitute," Bashir said while addressing a delegation of Darfur residents.
"Some foreign hands want to achieve their special aims in Sudan by pushing through the plan of deploying international forces in Darfur," the president said, refraining from mentioning the names of the foreign powers.
He also stressed that the AU forces came to Darfur to observe a tentative ceasefire reached between the government and Darfur rebels according to an agreement with the Sudanese government.
The Darfur delegation handed over to the president a memorandum in which they declared their strong refusal of any foreign intervention in Sudan's internal affairs.
"The foreign intervention will further complicate the Darfur crisis and impede its solution," said the delegation, adding that the people of Darfur were capable of reaching a lasting and comprehensive solution to the crisis.
The AU Peace and Security Council will hold a ministerial meeting in Addis Ababa next week to discuss proposals for UN troops' takeover of the AU's peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
The council announced last month its "support in principle" for the UN deployment of international peacekeeping forces to replace AU forces.
The AU currently maintains some 7,800-strong forces, including troops and observers, in Sudan's Darfur region.
The pan-African bloc has struggled to keep order in the restive region due to severe financial shortages and logistical problems.
Last December, the AU said that it needed an extra 130 million U.S. dollars to meet the demand of peacekeeping in Darfur.
Rebels took up arms in February 2003 in Sudan's arid Darfur region, accusing Khartoum of negligence.