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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:56, March 26, 2006
Sudan slams UN resolution on takeover of peacekeeping mission in Darfur
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Sudan blasted on Saturday a UN resolution on a speed-up of sending international troops to Sudan's volatile western Darfur region to replace the African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol told reporters that the UN Security Council resolution indicated a UN's wrong reading on a recent decision taken by the AU Peace and Security Council, which, he said, required the 7,800-strong African forces to extend mandate until Sept. 30.

Ghazi Salahuddin, advisor of the Sudanese president, also criticized the UN resolution, describing it would complicate a political settlement of the Darfur crisis and worsen humanitarian and security situations in the region.

At a press conference, Salahuddin reiterated his government's refusal to turn over the Darfur issue to the Security Council because "internationalizing the crisis is disadvantageous to the Darfur people."

He said that turning the issue to the Security Council was pushed by the conservatives in the U.S. administration due to political motives.

The UN Security Council resolution has called for faster preparations for the AU to hand over its peacekeeping mission in Darfur to UN forces.

The resolution was unanimously adopted by the 15-nation Council on Friday and gave UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan until April 24 to prepare a range of options for a United Nations operation in Darfur.

UN officials and council diplomats acknowledged they could not send in UN troops or even an assessment team to help in the planning without the approval of the Sudanese government, and they encouraged Khartoum to cooperate in an eventual transition.

The AU currently maintains some 7,800-strong forces in Darfur to observe a shaky cease-fire agreement reached between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels in April, 2004.

The AU Darfur force has been constrained by poor funding and has been unable to contain the volatile situation in Darfur.

Sudan has been opposed to the hand-over plan, saying that it would support the transition to the UN after a peace deal has been reached with all the Darfur rebel groups.

Clashes flared up in Darfur in February 2003 when local farmers took up arms against the Sudanese government, accusing it of neglecting the barren area. Thousands of people have been killed and more displaced in the violence.

Rounds of peace talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels in Abuja have failed to yield fruits so far.

Source: Xinhua

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