Home | News    Wednesday 16 February 2005

Sudan says no to non-African troops for Darfur

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N’DJAMENA, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Sudan’s president on Wednesday urged the international community not to send troops to the Darfur region, saying he wanted the problem to remain in the hands of the African Union.

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A Nigerian soldier of the AU force

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was speaking after talks with African leaders in Chad, meant to revive a faltering peace process for Darfur and find ways of enforcing a truce in a civil war that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives.

"We also ask the international community not to send neutral forces so that the rebels can realise their aims. We want the rebels to come to the negotiating table with serious intentions," Bashir told reporters.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sunday urged the European Union and NATO to do more to help end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, saying the African Union’s capacity to provide security was dwarfed by the size of the challenge.

The African Union has some 1,400 troops and monitors in Darfur, where rebels have waged an uprising since February 2003.

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