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U.S. wants apology from U.N. on Darfur

Oct. 2, 2006 at 6:37 AM   |   Comments

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- Ambassador John Bolton of the United States is demanding an apology from U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown for remarks he made on Darfur.

Bolton was upset Friday about remarks to The Independent of London relating to Sudan's troubled western region of Darfur.

The envoy said Malloch Brown's criticisms "bring discredit to the United Nations and are a stain on its reputation. Malloch Brown should apologize."

According to Bolton, Malloch Brown said British Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush "need to get beyond the posturing and grand standing," and that "megaphone diplomacy" was not "plausible."

Malloch Brown apparently was referring to statements in which the two leaders had said a U.N. peacekeeping force was needed in Darfur to relieve the African Union mission. The two allies have been advocating Khartoum consent to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706, which calls for U.N. peacekeepers to replace the strapped Africans.

The AU forces were to leave this weekend, but their mandate has been renewed until the end of the year.

Bolton said Malloch Brown was quoted as saying Khartoum had come to regard itself as the latest front in the war on terror, "the victims in the next crusade after Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We (Britain and the United States) are proud that we have called the attention of the international community to the tragedy in Darfur, proud of our efforts to bring relief to that tragedy and to have Malloch Brown attack those efforts, as I say, it brings great discredit to this institution ... and should never have been uttered," said Bolton.

The ambassador said he didn't think it was worth a formal protest, and was only lodging it with the media.

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