May 3, 2006


Mediators reportedly preparing new Darfur plan
(Associated Press, 5/03/06)

African Union mediators joined by senior U.S. and British officials are preparing a substantially changed Darfur peace proposal after rebels rejected the original draft, said two Sudanese close to the negotiations who saw the new document Wednesday.

The two Sudanese, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the new proposal was not yet official, said it was aimed at meeting rebel demands for a greater share of power and wealth.

The Sudanese government had accepted the original draft and it was not immediately clear how it would respond to any changes.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick and British Cabinet member Hilary Benn, who have joined efforts to hammer out an agreement, met Wednesday morning with African Union officials to finalize the new proposal, said the two Sudanese who had seen it.

We may not have split Iraq in three yet but this will finalize the tripartite division of The Sudan.

U.S. Envoy Joins Negotiations on Darfur as Deadline Is Extended (Glenn Kessler, 5/03/06, Washington Post)

Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick plunged into the negotiations on a peace plan for Sudan's Darfur region yesterday as President Bush telephoned Sudan's president to urge him to return a top negotiator to the talks. A midnight deadline for a resolution was extended to allow additional talks today, Zoellick said. [...]

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush called Lt. Gen. Omar Hassan Bashir, Sudan's president, late Monday to urge him to return his top negotiator, vice president Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, to finalize an agreement. Taha abruptly returned to Khartoum on Monday.

The official SUNA news agency said Bashir assured Bush he wants to reach an agreement to end the conflict, but there was no indication Bashir would accede to Bush's request to allow Taha to return to Abuja. Zoellick said he had been assured that the government's senior representative to the talks had the authority to make decisions and that he could speak to Taha and Bashir by telephone whenever necessary.

Sudan has resisted a U.S.-backed plan to replace a 7,000-strong African Union force with a more robust United Nations peacekeeping mission, with NATO providing logistical support. U.S. officials hope that an agreement in Abuja will pave the way for the dismantlement of the Janjaweed and the introduction of U.N. troops.

"The president also stressed the need for President Bashir to accept the transition of an African Union mission to a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur and to accept a NATO supportive role," McClellan said.

Time to get serious, the Crusaders are here.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2006 6:47 AM


Posted by: oj at May 3, 2006 9:52 AM