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Sudan Agrees to Non-U.N. Peacekeeping Forces

Sudan said African Union troops may stay in the country but not under United Nations control. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer talks about Khartoum's rejection of a U.N. force and attempts to forge a compromise.

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    The conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan grows more deadly, despite renewed international efforts to stop it. Violence and killings are on the upswing, though a cease-fire was signed in May between the central government and Darfur's largest rebel group.

    Sudan rejected a U.N. Security Council resolution last week calling for a U.N. force. And, today, the African Union bowed to a Sudanese demand and said its 7,000 troops would leave the country by the end of the month.

    Joining us is the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Jendayi Frazer. She was in Sudan last week.


    Assistant Secretary, the U.N. resolution envisioned an African contingent at the core of its force in Darfur. Now the A.U. is going home, and the Sudanese won't let the U.N. in. What now?


    Well, we don't expect to let the A.U. to actually go home, the African Union. And it's not at all clear that the government of Sudan has formally asked the African Union to go home.

    I have had phone calls and discussions with the leadership of the African Union. And they have not gotten a formal request to leave. What the foreign minister is reported to have said, the Sudanese foreign minister is reported to have said that their mandate ends at the end of September, and they can then leave, if they are not willing to accept assistance from the Arab League and the government of Sudan to stay, that is, to stay independent of the United Nations.

    So, I think the diplomacy here is continuing. The government, I believe, of Sudan is playing brinkmanship. They are trying to intimidate the African Union. But I don't think that they can stand up against the world community.


    But the A.U. shows no signs of being willing to accept Arab League and Sudanese funding for its — its maintenance of some sort of security force in — in western Sudan. Isn't the — the Sudanese government giving them conditions that they know they will reject, and leave at the end of September?


    Well, I think the Sudanese government is giving them unrealistic conditions, because, at the Brussels conference, donors conference to provide assistance to the African Union, none of the Arab countries, except for Qatar, pledged any funding.

    The African Union was able to raise $220 million, of which the United States pledged $116 million, Qatar pledged $7.6 million, which was money it had already pledged in March. None of the other countries came forward.

    So, the African Union cannot accept conditions which are not realistic.

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