Feb 11,2008 00:00
KHARTOUM, Sudan -- Rebel leaders in Darfur say safety of the Sudanese region's citizens should be addressed before a location is selected for peace talks.
Abdel Wahid al-Nur, founder of the Sudan Liberation Movement, said efforts to end the crisis in Darfur should be focused on deploying peacekeeping forces and establishing conditions that help foster an end to the violence, the Sudan Tribune reported Monday.
Nur demanded the implementation of "conflict suspension" before having talks. He said a country should be chosen only with the approval of all stakeholders.
The Netherlands indicated it would consider hosting peace talks if the request came from the African Union or the United Nations, the Tribune said. Nur said he would boycott U.N.-brokered peace talks until a planned U.N.-AU peacekeeping force of 26,000 deploys to the region and is seen to be effective in ending the violence.
The rebel leader said attacks were occurring and that the international community needed to pressure the government in Khartoum to end the violence.
The United Nation's human rights council said 12,000 people from Darfur crossed into Chad after armed attacks by Sudanese forces and the Janjaweed militia last week.
Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.