Sudan rejects Darfur resolution
|Bbc News, 31 Août 2006|
The Sudanese government has vehemently rejected a UN Security Council resolution that would send a UN force to Sudan's Darfur region.
"The Sudanese people will not consent to any resolution that will violate its sovereignty," the official Suna news agency quoted the government as saying.
The resolution requires the consent of Khartoum for the force to be deployed.
Killings, rape and displacement are continuing in Darfur despite the presence of African Union peacekeepers.
In three years of fighting some 200,000 people have been killed, according to the UN, and more than two million driven from their homes.
The Sudanese government has suggested it send at least 10,000 of its own troops to the region, but Western nations and human rights groups say that could make matters worse.
Earlier on Thursday, the Security Council voted 12-0 to despatch 17,500 UN soldiers and 3,000 UN police to Darfur.
China, Russia and Qatar abstained, saying they supported the contents of the resolution but wanted Sudan's consent before adopting it.
The US described the abstentions as "inexplicable".
Sudan stands firm
Resolution 1706 "invites the consent of the [Sudanese] government" for the deployment, but on Thursday President Omar al-Bashir strongly reiterated his opposition.
In the statement quoted by the Suna agency, his ruling party called on the Sudanese people to "strengthen further their cohesion and ranks and prepare to face any development".
Sudanese opponents of such a force have accused it of having "colonial" ambitions.
The BBC's correspondent at UN headquarters in New York, Mike Sergeant, says diplomats acknowledge that a UN force could only go to Darfur with the agreement of the Sudanese government.
The resolution's sponsors, the US and UK, say they hope it will put new pressure on President Bashir to accept a UN force.
"It is imperative that we move immediately to implement it fully to stop the tragic events unfolding in Darfur," US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said.
"Every day we delay only adds to the suffering of the Sudanese people and extends the genocide."
Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer said she was "absolutely confident" Khartoum would accept a UN force.
Mrs Frazer said she would urge Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol to come to Washington for talks.
And the Security Council has scheduled a meeting on 8 September with Sudanese officials and representatives of the African Union, Arab League and Organisation of the Islamic Conference to discuss the issue.