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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Russia's foreign minister criticized Monday a UN Security Council resolution on Sudan
Russia's foreign minister criticized Monday a UN Security Council resolution on Sudan, saying it had been adopted too quickly and so had angered the African state's authorities. Under the resolution adopted August 31, peacekeepers will be deployed in Sudan's western Darfur region to stop clashes between government forces, Arab tribes and rebel groups representing the interests of native non-Arab population. Since the start of the conflict in February 2003, death toll estimates have varied from 50,000 to 450,000 and more than 2 million have been made refugees. But Russia's Sergei Lavrov said, "Unfortunately, the resolution was adopted hastily without preliminary consultations with the Sudanese government." Sudan's government said it was opposed to the deployment of peacekeepers in Darfur following the adoption of the resolution. However, the foreign minister suggested that problems could be resolved. "Nevertheless, we hope consultations will continue and if we act together we will be able to improve the situation," he said. "While supporting this idea in principle, we are convinced that the key rule of peacekeeping activities should be observed for its implementation, namely the consent of the sides," Lavrov said. He said Russia, China and other Security Council members were convinced that consultations with Sudan's leadership on the issue could have led to the desired result. Russia and China, both veto-wielding members of the Security Council, abstained from the vote because details of the peacekeeping operation had not been agreed with Sudan. "Unfortunately, the resolution coauthors did not take this opinion into account," Lavrov added. Lavrov said he hoped the Sudanese government would continue cooperating with the African Union and its mission in Darfur. "This mission plays an important stabilizing role and is a guarantor that may prevent new major bloodshed," he said. In 2004, the African Union sent a 7,000 peacekeeping contingent to the conflict zone tasked with observing a ceasefire. Khartoum is in favor of reinforcing the African peacekeeping contingent and has suggested sending more than 10,000 Sudanese soldiers to Darfur to stabilize the situation there.
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