Saturday, October 22, 2005

US wants more cooperation by Khartoum gov. on Darfur

US wants more cooperation by Khartoum gov. on Darfur

KHARTOUM, Oct 22 (KUNA) -- Sudan on Saturday said it would cooperate to salvage the peace agreements on the troubled western region of Darfur, as the United States appeared not to be satisfied with action taken by the central government so far.

Following talks with President Hassan al Beshir here today, Jendayi Frazer, the U.S. assistant secretary of State for Africa, told reporters that the Khartoum government would be committed to implementation of the peace accords struck to end the 2-1/2 years of fighting between rebels, the Sudanese army and Arab militias.

"We are hoping that at latest by the end of the year that you will have a political solution to the crisis in Darfur," she told reporters, stressing "We are not satisfied with the level of progress there (in Darfur)." President Beshir had asked when U.S. economic sanctions, imposed on Sudan in 1997 for human rights violations, would be lifted, she noted "as long as the situation continues in Darfur it would be very difficult for the United States and President (George W.) Bush to make the case that the human rights sanctions should be lifted".

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the fighting and more than two millions have been forced from their homes. The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating alleged war crimes. (end) hja.

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