Friday, June 30, 2006

Darfur: Sudan to Lobby Rwanda on UN

From the New Times courtesy of The Coalition for Darfur

The Sudanese government is planning to send a delegation to Rwanda in its efforts to seek support from African countries in a bid to block a United Nations peacekeeping force from going to Darfur.

Speaking to The New Times, Ismail Dahab Mohamed, the Sudanese Deputy Head of Mission in Kampala said his government is opposed to replacing the African Union troops with those of the United Nations.

"Rwanda and Burundi are good countries and are near us. We shall also go there to seek for their support against the proposal to replace the African Union peacekeeping forces with those of the United Nations. We shall go there like we are doing to other countries so that we can be supported in our efforts to block these troops from coming to Darfur," he said.

Dahab said that the AU peacekeeping forces only need logistical and financial support to bring about stability in the area.

"As Sudan, we do not think that by taking the UN forces there, the problem will be solved, but we think that the AU mandate should be supported because they can contain the situation," he said.

Dahab also revealed that the African leaders are to meet at the end of this month in the Sudan to discuss Darfur problems and also come up with possible solutions.

"We are committed to ending this problem and we want support from our friends in Africa. We hope that we can resolve the problems as Africans under our organisational structures. At the end of this month, we hope to meet many other African leaders and we discuss matters of the Sudan peace processes. We shall also discuss the issue of UN forces coming to Sudan. We want support from Africa so that we can resolve the matter and head toward peace in the region," he said. Efforts to contact the foreign affairs minister Dr. Charles Murigande on phone by press time yesterday, were fruitless.