Sudan Vows to Defeat UN
- Invoking Hizballah, Sudan's Leader Vows to Defeat Any UN Force
By Patrick Goodenough
August 16, 2006
(CNSNews.com) - Amid calls for the U.N. to deploy peacekeepers in
Sudan's Darfur region by October 1, the country's Islamist leader has
vowed to emulate Hizballah in Lebanon and rout any incoming force.
"We oppose the deployment of American, British or other forces imposed
by the Security Council," Sudan's state news agency quoted President
Omar al-Bashir as saying in an address to the North African country's
"We are determined to defeat any forces entering the country just as
Hizballah has defeated the Israeli forces," he said, echoing the view
expressed by Syria, Iran and Hizballah itself that the recent conflict
in Lebanon had ended in victory for the terrorist group.
The Sudan Tribune said Bashir also has reaffirmed Sudanese
"solidarity" with the Lebanese and Palestinians.
The U.N. estimates that more than 200,000 people have been killed in
Darfur since fighting erupted between the government and several rebel
groups in 2003. Two million more have been displaced, and both rebels
and notorious government-sponsored militias have been accused of
abuses against civilians.
The government and one rebel faction signed a peace agreement last
May, but the violence has continued - and in some ways has worsened,
with rebel groups fracturing and turning on each other as well,
leading to a worsening humanitarian situation, according to aid groups.
A small, underfunded African Union (A.U.) force has been monitoring
the agreement, but the organization wants to hand over to a U.N. force
Last week, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack reaffirmed that
the U.S. backed the A.U. position and was "pushing hard at the U.N.
and elsewhere to try to make that happen."
The force envisaged by U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan will largely
come from African and Asian nations, with support from developed
Annan said in a report to the Security Council that a U.N. mission
would need between 15,300 and 18,600 troops, depending on the required
deployment speed and levels of troop density.
He said the force would focus primarily on protecting civilians,
including the large number of internally-displaced people currently
living in camps.
Pointing to the need to get Sudan's consent, Annan said "the United
Nations has no
hidden agenda ... beyond the urgent need to help the population and
prevent the crisis from spreading further."
It would be deployed to help the parties to implement the peace
agreement, "not to occupy the country."
He urged Khartoum not to misrepresent the aims of the U.N. for
New York-based non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch says
the Security Council should impose sanctions on senior Sudanese officials.
"The council should impose personal, targeted sanctions on top
Sudanese officials responsible for preventing U.N. troops from being
sent to Darfur," said the group's Africa director, Peter Takirambudde,
in a statement Monday.
The statement suggested strongly that Bashir should be among those
targeted, calling him "the most powerful actor" in a government that
had "defied the Security Council for two years."
Currently only four individuals have been subjected to sanctions over
Darfur. A travel ban and assets freeze were imposed last April against
a Sudanese military officer, the leader of a pro-government militia,
and two rebel commanders.
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