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Sudan Rejects UN Resolution on Darfur Peacekeeping


The Sudanese government has expressed its strong opposition to Thursday's United Nations' Security Council resolution that calls for a U.N. peacekeeping force in the volatile Darfur region. Cathy Majtenyi reports for VOA from Nairobi.

Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha was among top government officials reported by the state news agency SUNA Friday as opposing the U.N. force. He was quoted as saying Sudan has "options and plans" to confront what he calls the international intervention.

In reports Thursday and Friday, other members of the ruling National Congress party blasted the resolution, saying that Security Council members were split over what the Sudanese government terms a hasty vote.

On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council approved the deployment of 20,000 U.N. military and police personnel to take over from an African Union force in Darfur, which has seen an escalation of violence and chaos in recent months. But the troops would not deploy without Sudan's consent.

Welcoming the resolution are members of the Sudan Liberation Movement, one of several rebel groups operating in Darfur.

Stephen Missa Dhunya is a former member of Parliament, who is now supervisor of a disarmament project in Sudan. He says he supports the presence of a U.N. peacekeeping force, if it will help end the suffering of people in Darfur, but says he is doubtful that this will happen.

"We've seen U.N. forces everywhere, for example in Congo, or in Rwanda,” said Dhunya. “They don't seem to really take an active role in stopping whatever they were sent to stop. The U.N. forces are there, and still there is much killing going on, so I don't know what they are coming to do in Darfur."

An estimated 200,000 people have been killed and two million displaced by the three-year-old conflict involving government forces, rebel groups, and a militia called the Janjaweed that many say is backed by the Sudanese government.

The African Union force sent in to provide security has come under heavy criticism for being under funded, ill-equipped and having few powers.

Earlier this year, the Sudanese government signed a peace agreement with one of the rebel groups involved in the fighting.

The government argues that it has the capability to deal with the Darfur crisis, and that the presence of foreign troops is tantamount to an imperial invasion.

But aid groups, human rights officials and others argue that the U.N. needs to step in and avert the looming humanitarian crisis.