Sudan Rejects Draft U.N. Resolution on Darfur

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Sudan's ruling party has rejected a U.S.-British draft Security Council resolution to deploy United Nations peacekeepers in Darfur, saying it would violate national sovereignty, the official media reported Thursday.

According to Radio Omdurman and the SUNA news agency, the draft was discussed by the National Congress Party's ruling council and a parliamentary group chaired by President Omar al-Bashir at a meeting Wednesday night.

"The draft resolution is worse than the previous ones because it constitutes an attempt to impose complete guardianship on the Sudan," lawmaker Ghazi Salah Eldin Atabani said after the meeting. "It did not pay any consideration to the bodies set up for implementation of the Darfur peace agreement and was not presented to the Sudanese authorities."

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He said any council member who supported the draft would be considered an enemy of Sudan.

A May peace agreement signed by the government and one of the major rebel groups was supposed to help end the conflict in Darfur. Instead, it has sparked months of fighting between rival rebel factions that has added to the toll of the dead and displaced.

With the situation in Darfur worsening and violence escalating, the United States and Britain have introduced a resolution to transfer peacekeeping from the African Union to a much larger and better equipped U.N. force.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said he hoped it could be adopted by the end of August.

Al-Bashir has sent a letter to the council asking for more time to bring peace to Darfur and to delay the transfer of peacekeeping duties to a U.N. force, citing strong opposition to the move in the area.

CountryWatch: Sudan