China welcomes Darfur agreement

Updated: 2007-06-15 08:33

BEIJING - China welcomed Sudan's acceptance of a joint African Union- United Nations peacekeeping force for the country's troubled Darfur region.

A Sudanese diplomat in Ethiopia confirmed on Wednesday that Sudan has accepted the mission after receiving assurances that a "hybrid" AU-UN force of 17,000 to 19,000 troops will not be open-ended and Sudan will remain in control of its borders.

"China welcomes the deployment of a hybrid AU-UN force in Darfur and the joint statement," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement posted on the ministry's Web site late Wednesday.

"The facts have shown that dialogue and equal negotiation is an effective approach to political solution of the Darfur issue, and the consultation between AU, UN and Sudan is an effective mechanism," Qin said.

China recently appointed a special representative for Africa to focus on Darfur, and has publicly urged Khartoum to give the UN a greater role in trying to resolve the conflict.

The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when local rebels took up arms against the Sudanese government, accusing it of decades of neglect. Sudanese leaders are accused of unleashing the pro-government Arab militia, the janjaweed, to fight them - a charge they deny.

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours