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Threat to Darfur peacekeepers flayed
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09:42, November 29, 2007

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China yesterday criticized an anti-Sudan government force's threat to attack its peacekeepers if Beijing didn't pull them out of Darfur, saying it was unwarranted and not conducive to peace in the region.

Reacting to the Justice and Equality Movement's demand that Chinese peacekeepers withdraw or face the consequences, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the country's contribution to the UN force would help promote peace and stability in Darfur and improve people's life.

"China finds it hard to understand and cannot accept the threat to our peacekeepers in Darfur. It condemns all threats against the security of Chinese peacekeepers." The security of UN peacekeepers, including Chinese personnel, must be guaranteed, Qin said.

The Justice and Equality Movement demanded the withdrawal of the peacekeepers on Saturday, when the vanguard of China's engineering unit reached the western Sudanese region of Darfur as part of the "hybrid" UN-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force.

Qin said he hoped the region's anti-government forces that have not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement would join the peace process as early as possible.

China agreed to a UN request to send a 315-strong multi-functional engineering group to Darfur to build roads and bridges and dig wells. Qin said: "China has made unremitting efforts to push forward peace efforts in Sudan."

Source: China Daily

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