SUDAN SHOULD ACCEPT MUSLIM PEACEKEEPERS: CLINTON
By Tsegaye Tadesse
July 16, 2006
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) -
Sudan should be pressured into accepting foreign peacekeepers from Muslim countries to help stem bloodshed in its troubled
Darfur region, former U.S. President Bill Clinton
said on Sunday.
Sudan has refused to accept a U.N. peacekeeping mission to replace
the 7,000 underfunded African Union (AU) peacekeepers currently in Darfur. Sudan has likened the proposed U.N. mission to a Western invasion.
should be pressured to accept international troops from Muslim countries such as Pakistan,
Turkey, Bangladesh and
others to help maintain peace and order in Darfur," Clinton
told an audience at AU headquarters.
Clinton, on an African tour
where he has been launching aid initiatives, was speaking after breaking ground at a new pediatric HIV/ AIDS
clinic in the Ethiopian capital.
The United States, the European Union and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan are due to meet in Brussels on Tuesday to urge Sudan to accept
the U.N. force. They will also discuss how to fund the AU mission until it is replaced.
"The AU alone cannot solve
the Darfur problem and find solutions to stop the killings. There are not enough troops with
a clear mandate and legal power to stop thousands from dying and alleviate the hardship of the people in Darfur," Clinton said.
Three years of rape, pillage
and murder in Darfur, a vast and lawless western region of Sudan,
has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced at least 2.5 million.