UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan held talks with Sudan's president Sunday and said he was hopeful UN peacekeepers would eventually be deployed to the country's war-wracked Darfur region.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is staunchly opposed to having a 7,000-strong African Union force there replaced by UN troops. The two met on the sidelines of a continent-wide summit in Gambia' capital, Banjul.
"In the world of politics, things change. We hear 'never,' 'forever,' and yet it does come around," Annan told reporters. "And so I'm still expecting that in time there will be a UN peacekeeping force deployed to Darfur."
The conflict in Darfur has left more than 180,000 people dead, driven 2 million from their homes and undermined stability in neighboring Chad and Central African Republic.