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Sudan’s ruling party dismisses EU sanctions threat over Darfur


KHARTOUM, Sept 6 (AFP) — Sudan’s ruling National Congress party has dismissed an EU threat to impose sanctions on the country if it does not do more to rein in militias in the western Darfur region, a press report said.

The NC’s deputy secretary general, Nafie Ali Nafie, was quoted Monday by Al Ayam newspaper as saying his party rejects the EU threat.

"The European Union will not impose sanctions and we reject this and the government is living up to its duty towards the people of Sudan," he said.

He was speaking after a meeting Sunday between First Vice President Ali Osman Taha and NC Secretary General Ibrahim Ahmed Omar on the Darfur situation.

On Saturday, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, welcomed some progress on the humanitarian situation in Darfur. However, he lamented that security remains a problem.

"It is necessary to make it quite clear that we may be forced to impose sanctions at some point in the future," he said, adding that EU officials have been asked to draw up a list of possible sanctions and their implications.

Rebel groups rose up against Khartoum in February last year, alleging that Darfur’s black African tribes have been economically and politically marginalised by Khartoum’s Arab elite and demanding greater autonomy for the region and a bigger share of the national income.

According to UN estimates, up to 50,000 people have died in Darfur. Another some 1.4 million people have fled their homes, with about 180,000 crossing the border into Chad.

Peace talks in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, between rebel groups and the Sudanese government were stalled on Monday over the issue of disarmament, officials from the African Union said.

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