Sudan peacekeepers get eviction notice

Sept. 4, 2006 at 7:10 AM
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KHARTOUM, Sudan, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The government of Sudan told African Union peacekeepers Monday they must leave at the end of the month when their mandate in war-torn Darfur expires.

Jamal Mohamed Ibrahim, spokesman for Sudan's foreign ministry, said it was not a hostile move, but rather reflects the African Union's own claim its mission was not sustainable, the BBC reported.

"So we are just requesting now, since they can't finish and proceed with their assignment in Darfur, so it is up to them now to leave. And we're asking them, please leave," Ibrahim said.

However, the government in Khartoum is soundly against a United Nations resolution passed last week which would replace the AU's 7,000 troops with 17,000 U.N. troops.

President Omar al-Bashir said the call for a U.N. force was "part of a comprehensive conspiracy for confiscating the country's sovereignty" in comments reported by the Sudanese news agency Suna on Sunday.

Since 2003, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in fighting between three major rebel groups and pro-government militias in the western part of the country.

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