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Sudan Approves UN Assistance to AU Mission In Darfur


Sudan's president has given his approval for the United Nations to provide logistical support to an African Union mission in Darfur after rejecting a U.N. peacekeeping force for the region.

Sudan's official news agency says President Omar al-Bashir gave his approval in a letter to U.N. General Secretary Kofi Annan and the A.U. commission chairman, Alpha Omar Konare.

He also called on the two bodies to increase their efforts to persuade holdout rebel groups to join a peace agreement signed by the largest Darfur rebel faction in May.

Sudan has come under increasing pressure to allow the United Nations to take over the African Union force in Darfur. But President Bashir has repeatedly refused, likening a U.N. mission to colonization.

Last month, the United Nations proposed sending more than 100 military advisors as well as logistical and communications support to Darfur to help the A.U. force.

The African Union agreed in September to extend its mandate in Darfur until the end of December, despite funding problems and an inability to stop the region's rampant violence.

More than three years of fighting in Darfur has killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced two million others from their homes.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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