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AU raises sanction threat against Darfur rebels

Written by: Staff

ADDIS ABABA, May 15 (Reuters) The African Union said today it would ask for UN sanctions against two Darfur rebel factions if they undermined an AU-mediated peace deal with Khartoum to end three years of bloodshed in Sudan's vast west.

Only one of three Darfur rebel factions signed an agreement with the Sudanese government on May 5 to end the conflict. Officials are concerned the two holdouts could act as spoilers by instigating violence to scuttle the deal.

''Should they embark on any action or measure likely to undermine the Darfur peace agreement, especially the ceasefire provisions, the Council should take appropriate measures against them including by requesting the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions against them,'' Alpha Oumar Konare, chairman of the AU commission, said in a statement.

The warning came as the AU's Peace and Security Council met in Addis Ababa to discuss its next step for Darfur.

It hopes to persuade rebels to join the peace deal, and is also considering turning over the AU mission in Darfur to UN peacekeepers.

Reuters SHB GC1740

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