Home | News    Saturday 30 September 2006

US Admin still pushing for UN force in Sudan

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Sept 29, 2006 (WASHINGTON) — The Bush administration Friday declined "to throw in the towel" on getting U.N. peacekeepers into Sudan to replace an ill-equipped and underfunded African Union force.

The Sudanese government is intransigent, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "But just because it is hard doesn’t mean we are going to give up. And neither should the rest of the international community."

Thursday, the U.N. chief envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, said did not expect the Sudanese government to accept a U.N. force anytime soon.

And so, he said, the international community should instead push for the African Union’s mission to be prolonged and reinforced.

But Friday, McCormack disagreed.

"I don’t think that there is a substitute for an international force at this point," he said. "Certainly, we are not going to throw in the towel on getting an international force into Sudan. OK?"

A U.N. Security Council resolution calls for 20,000 peacekeepers to replace the African Union force that has done little to prevent escalating violence in Darfur. But Sudan’s president Omar el-Bashir fiercely rejects the U.N. mission, and it cannot be deployed without his consent.

(AP/ST)

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