Sudan to allow limited UN troops

The Sudanese president has agreed to allow UN troops to provide limited support to African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, but Omar al-Bashir, the president, rejected UN force.

Sudan to allow limited UN troops

The USvoiced doubts about al-Bashir's concession as it readied tough new sanctions.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief, said al-Bashir had agreed to UNlogistical and financial assistance for African Union troops in Darfur.

Sudan haslong resisted the deployment of a UN force there but made the concession aftermeeting regional leaders at the Arab League summit in Riyadh on Wednesday.

In a speech on Wednesday, al-Bashir criticised UNresolutions calling for a UN troop deployment in Darfur as a violation of Sudan's sovereignty and said they "provokethe conflict in Darfur, instead of finding asolution for it".

Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia'sforeign minister said on Thursday: "Sudan has now agreed for the UN toprovide logistical support to help African forces.

"This is a breakthrough that never happened before andwe hope it leads immediately to a solution to the humanitarian tragedy in Darfur as soon as possible."

"Practical measures"

After the talks, the Arab League said Ban and al-Bashiragreed on "practical measures" to implement a pact onpeacekeeping in Darfur, made in Abuja, Nigeria, inNovember.

The sides agreed to "define the size of the Africanforces and their weaponry as well as the logistical and technical support,supervision, financing and the ways of participation by the UnitedNations".

But Washington,which calls the situation in Darfurgenocide, was not impressed.

"We are very sceptical that Bashir has agreed to anysuch thing. We must see the fine print," a senior official told Reuters.

Before the Saudi announcement, US officials from the state,defence, treasury and other departments said Washington would "tighten thescrews" with fresh sanctions within days.

Besides imposing travel and banking restrictions on atleast three people, including a rebel leader, it wants to put morepressure on fragmented rebel groups.

Blacklisted businesses

About 130 firms linked to Sudan'sgovernment have been barred from doing business with the US or using USfinancial institutions.

Khartoum said on Thursday thenew US measures would serveto threaten the agreement and fuel violence in Darfur.

Some say the fresh sanctions are too little, too late.

John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group said:"This is the right idea but it is simply not enough and not multilateralenough to make an impact, a dent, in the calculations of the Sudaneseregime."

Experts say at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5million displaced in Darfur since 2003, whenrebel groups took up arms against the government accusing it of neglect.

Khartoumsays only 9,000 people have died and denies the allegations of genocide.

The under-manned and under-equipped 7,000-strong AfricanUnion peacekeeping force in Darfur has alsofailed to stop the violence.

Sudansigned an agreement with the UN to boost humanitarian work in the region thisweek.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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