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Sudan peace efforts throw cold water on US

11/14/2005 6:33pm

KHARTOUM:, Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir threw cold water on Sunday on US efforts to promote peace in his war-torn country, just two days after US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Zoellick left Sudan.

The US official spent four days in Sudan trying to shore up a January peace deal that ended more than two decades of north-south war and pressing for a solution to the devastating conflict in the western region of Darfur.

"We don’t need Zoellick to resolve our internal problems," the official SUNA news agency quoted Beshir as saying. The president made the comment after receiving proposals from members of his ruling National Congress for a regional conference bringing around the same table all the parties involved in Darfur. "The solution to the root causes of the problem lies with the people of Darfur themselves," Beshir said.

Up to 300,000 people have died since ethnic minority rebels rose up against the Arab-dominated regime in Khartoum in early 2003, according to a British parliamentary report. Two million more have been left homeless after the government unleashed Arab militias in a scorched earth campaign against minority villages.

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