Sudan's leader asks UNSC to delay UN force to give him time to bring peace to Darfur
Excerpt from AP report Aug 23, 2006 (via Forbes.com):
Sudan's president asked the UN Security Council to give him time to bring peace to conflict-wracked Darfur and urged it to delay action on transferring peacekeeping duties to a UN force, according to a letter circulated Wednesday.
Omar al-Bashir said there was strong opposition from residents and leaders in Darfur to the UN force and warned that deployment would lead "to acts of violence and unmanageable confrontations among all parties in Darfur, including the United Nations forces."
Al-Bashir's letter seeking more time to restore peace appeared to be a response to an invitation from the current Security Council president to the Sudanese government and other key players in Darfur to a meeting Monday to discuss the draft resolution.
The Security Council was scheduled to meet Thursday morning to discuss Al-Bashir's letter.
In the letter, Al-Bashir said he wants to concentrate on implementing the peace agreement under a six-month plan he already submitted to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He said it calls for the government, in cooperation with the African Union and U.N. agencies, to "return the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur to normal."