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Sudan expects AU peacekeepers to improve security in Darfur

7/5/2005 2:00pm

KHARTOUM, July 4, 2005 (Xinhua) -- The Sudanese government said here Monday that the security in Darfur is gradually improving and will get even better as soon as extra African Union peacekeepers are deployed in the troubled region later this month.

Addressing a news conference in Khartoum, Sudan's Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid blamed the rebels for the problems facing the Darfurians.

"The situation in Darfur is getting better. There is progress in delivering humanitarian aid as security has improved. This has even been recognized by the United Nations. The extra African Union troops to be deployed in August will help boost security in Darfur," Hamid told reporters in Khartoum.

The minister expressed optimism that the January peace accord Khartoum signed with southern rebels will have a positive effect on other parts of Sudan.

He said successful conclusion of the African Union-sponsored peace negotiations underway in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, between the Sudanese government and the two Darfur rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) will help restore peace in the western part of the country.

The minister who blamed the international community for interference said the Khartoum government was prepared to respond generously to the grievances of the people in eastern Sudan, but it won't allow the grievances to be internationalized as had happened in Darfur.

A peace accord was signed in January between Khartoum and southern rebels to end 21 years of war and is hoped to serve as a framework for broader peace deals between the government and rebel groups in Darfur and the east.

A rebellion in eastern Sudan threatens to undo the progress made in bringing the rebellions in southern Sudan and Darfur in the west to a peaceful conclusion.

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