African troops only to stay if Sudan okays UN force - AU
The African Union will pull its troops out of Darfur by Sept 30 unless Sudan drops its opposition to the deployment of a U.N. peacekeeping force there, a spokesman said Tuesday.- - -
The AU reached this decision at a meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa Monday, said spokesman Nouredinne Mezni. "We are ready to review the mandate in the event that Sudan and the U.N. agree on the transition to a U.N. peacekeeping force," he said.
On Monday, Sudan gave African Union troops a one-week ultimatum to accept a deal that would block the proposed 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur or else leave the region, a step that would likely worsen the world's worst humanitarian disaster.
The AU's formal mandate expires on Sept. 30 and it has asked the U.N. to take over the peacekeeping mission.
At an emergency meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa held after the Sudanese ultimatum, diplomats agreed that the African peacekeepers could stay on for a few months if Khartoum approved the transition to a U.N-led force, said Mezni.
African foreign ministers will meet in New York on Sept. 18 on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly to discuss the crisis, he said.
Sep 5 2006 VOA via CFD - AU to Press Sudan to Allow UN Peacekeepers: Tuesday, AU spokesman Nourredine Mezni told VOA even if Sudan does not agree to a U.N. transfer, the decision has been made to exit Sudan in late September.