Home | News    Tuesday 10 August 2004

Bashir expresses confidence in AU initiative on Darfur


KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug 10, 2004 (PANA) — Sudanese President Omar Hassan el-Bashir
has affirmed Khartoum’s full confidence in the ability of the
African Union (AU) to steer negotiations between the government
and the two rebel movements in Darfur.

Omar al-Beshir

Receiving the AU Commission chairperson Alpha Omar Konare at the
State House here Monday, Bashir said the government was keen on
the success of the coming round of talks with the rebels, planned
for 23 August in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Khartoum is currently under international pressure to find an
urgent political solution to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The President briefed the African official on developments in
Darfur, particularly concerning humanitarian assistance and
security, as well as the voluntary return of the internally
displaced persons.

Bashir reiterated Sudan’s rejection of any foreign intervention,
saying the government was delivering on the commitment to protect
its citizens.

On Wednesday, the African Union announced that it would send a
peacekeeping force of between 1,600 and 1,800 troops to Darfur to
speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid and to check repeated
violations of the 8 April cease-fire agreement.

But the Sudanese government has ruled out the need for an African
peacekeeping force in the troubled area.

The government also rejected suggestions to increase the number
of AU cease-fire monitors, saying security in the area was the
responsibility of the Sudanese Army.

The Sudanese government said a team of about 100 AU cease-fire
monitors was enough to ensure stability in Darfur.

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