SUDAN WATCH: Sudan accepts AU troops not under UN umbrella - calls for UN sanctions on NRF terrorists - says UN undermines AU

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sudan accepts AU troops not under UN umbrella - calls for UN sanctions on NRF terrorists - says UN undermines AU

Sudan said on Aug 3 that its plan to disarm the Janjaweed will not be made public, and allowing UN troops to take over from an AU monitoring mission in Darfur would be a violation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, Reuters' Opheera McDoom reported today (via - excerpt:
Presidential Advisor Majzoub al-Khalifa also said those who use military force to oppose the AU-brokered peace deal were terrorists and should be sanctioned by the United Nations.

"According to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) there is no room for the U.N. forces to come," Khalifa told Reuters.

"We are not going to accept any UN force."

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended to the Security Council this week that a force of up to 24,000 UN troops be sent to Darfur to take over from an AU force of 7,000. Such a force would be the largest UN mission.

"The parties accepted ... only to stick to an AU force...and anything else (other) than that is a violation to the DPA," Khalifa said in an interview.

Last month former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Sudan should consider Muslim troops for Darfur, but Khalifa said any troops under the UN umbrella were unacceptable.

Khalifa, who was head of the government's negotiating team at the Darfur talks, accused the United Nations of trying to undermine the African Union's efforts in Darfur.

"The UN and other donors (have left) the AU in a position so that they cannot support their troops because of (lack of) financial support and compel them and press them and squeeze them so they will find no other way except asking for the transition," he added.

Washington calls the violence in Darfur genocide and blames the Khartoum government and their allied militias. The government denies this charge. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Khalifa's dominant National Congress Party (NCP) says UN troops are a front for Western colonialism.

Opposition parties, most of whom have voiced their support for UN troops [Sudan Watch ed: is this true? Unless it involved rebels, I can't recall seeing such news] say the NCP fear those troops would be used to arrest any official likely to be indicted by the ICC.

Only one of three negotiating rebel factions signed the May Darfur peace accord. Tens of thousands of Darfuris have protested against it saying they want more compensation for war victims, a rebel role in disarming Arab militia known as Janjaweed and more political posts.

Many of the commanders who have not signed the Darfur agreement have formed a new alliance called the National Redemption Front (NRF). They attacked the government town of Hamrat al-Sheikh in the neighboring Kordofan region last month, despite a 2004 truce.

"We consider them as terrorists," Khalifa said of the NRF.

Khalifa also said the government plan for disarming the Janjaweed, blamed for much of the rape, murder and pillage which has forced 2.5 million from their homes in Darfur, was confidential and would not be made public.


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