Bashir expresses confidence in AU initiative on Darfur

Khartoum- Sudan (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.
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.

10 august 2004 09:04:00

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