Sep 3 2006 AP report
by Mohamed Saeed - via BDT. Excerpt:
The Sudanese news agency SUNA quoted President Omar al-Bashir as saying UN attempts to deploy peacekeepers was a bid by the international community to take over his country.
"The call for deployment of international forces in Darfur is part of a comprehensive conspiracy for confiscating the country's sovereignty and imposing guardianship on the Sudanese people," al-Bashir said.
State media reported the Cabinet said it would take over Darfur security, which "has improved, except for some violations perpetrated by the National Redemption Front which has refused to sign the (peace) agreement."
Rebel commander Abubakar Hamid Elnur said by satellite telephone from northern Darfur that there were many civilian casualties.
"The government is still bombing with aircraft. It is very difficult for us to protect our civilians, especially from the air," he told The Associated Press. Many civilians have fled their villages for the hills and valleys, according to the rebels.
A government armed forces spokesman denied any aerial bombing of villages in northern Darfur and described current army activities in the area as administrative operations.
"The allegation that the army used military aircraft and bombed the area is false and unfounded," said the spokesman on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.