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Canada dismisses Sudanese protest over Darfur aid

5/14/2005 6:02am

OTTAWA, May 13 (Reuters) - Canada said on Friday it would go ahead with plans to send military advisors to Sudan's troubled Darfur region despite Khartoum's insistence that it did not want the troops to enter the country.
Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin announced on Thursday a C$170 million ($136 million) aid package for Darfur, where thousands of people have been killed and two million displaced in a bloody civil war. He also said Canada would send up to 100 military experts to help a African Union force in the region.

This angered Sudan, which said it would reject the deployment of non-African troops in Darfur and complained it had not been properly consulted about the Canadian plan.

Martin spokeswoman Melanie Gruer said Canada needed the approval of the African Union for the troops' deployment rather than that of Sudan.

"There is no change to the plan. We will send what we said we were going to send," she said.

"We consulted Khartoum as a courtesy. It's up to the African Union to get Sudan's approval."

An African Union force of more than 2,300 soldiers and hundreds of civilian police are deployed in Darfur to monitor a shaky ceasefire agreed to in April of last year between mostly non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

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