November 25, 2006 2:25 p.m. EST
Joseph S. Mayton – All Headline News Middle East Correspondent
The Sudanese number two man, Salva Kiir said last week that the international community should send peacekeepers to Darfur with or without Khartoum’s approval. His comments come as the Sudanese government continued to deny United Nations troops to the country.
“My position has always been very clear … that international forces should come to save lives,” Kiir, the Sudanese first vice president, told reporters after meeting with Egypt’s Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit.
Commenting on whether Khartoum’s consent should be a prerequisite for deployment of troops, Kirr said it should not.
“It should not be a condition. There will be no reason, if people are dying … and it should restrict the international community from coming in to save lives,” the vice president said.
Kiir made the comments in Cairo a day after a Darfur summit in Libya failed to agree on international troops. Sudanese President Omar Al Beshir said that his government wanted to seek an “African solution” to the crisis, which threatens to spill over into neighboring nations.
The crisis in Darfur has been ongoing since war broke out in the eastern province of Africa’s largest country in February 2003. Ethnic minority rebels are demanding an equal share of national resources. When they took up arms, the government cracked down using mainly a proxy militia called the Janjaweed.