U.N. troops all clear for Darfur - Sudan welcomes U.N. peacekeepers in Darfur after Agreement
A Sudanese government spokesman has said that United Nations peacekeepers now would be welcome in Darfur after a peace agreement between Khartoum and one of the rebel groups.
Bakri Mulah, secretary-general for external affairs in the Information Ministry, issued the invitation on behalf of the Khartoum government after the agreement was reached Friday in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Sudanese government initially rejected calls for U.N. peacekeepers to replace the thousands of African Union peacekeepers now in Darfur.
"We heard the appeal of the U.N. secretary general (for U.N. peacekeepers to joint those of the African Union)... . Now there is no problem," he said.
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Sudan Welcomes U.N. Peacekeepers in Darfur After Agreement
Associated Press report via Fox News.com Saturday, May 06, 2006:
In Cairo, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa welcomed the agreement and urged the rebel groups that opted out to reverse their decisions.
Moussa, in a statement faxed to The Associated Press, expressed confidence that the agreement would end the violence and open the way for reconstruction and development.
Khartoum had dropped opposition to a U.N. peacekeeping force, citing new conditions created by the peace deal.
"There would be no problem to have the support of the United Nations and other partners, the U.S. and EU, to help in implementation," Mullah told AP.
Mulah said the agreement also would help in repairing relations between Sudan and Chad, strained over the flood of refugees from Darfur.
Beyond that, he told AP, he expected Minnawi, the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement, to play an important role in the peace process as a member the Sudan's national unity government.
Mulah said the agreement was not closed to other rebel groups who had refused to sign.
"The other parties still have a chance to do so, but if they refuse then they will be treated just like the Janjajweed (the anti-rebel militia the government was accused of backing) or any other outlaw factions.
"This is not a government stand, it is that of the international community, the AU, the U.N. and the U.S. They will not tolerate any violation of the agreement, " he warned.