US slams Sudanese retreat on Darfur peacekeepers

The State Department on Tuesday criticized Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for retreating on his promise to support deployment of UN-African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, calling the Sudanese position "not acceptable to the international community." Al-Bashir outlined his stand in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. In late December, al-Bashir had given his consent to the UN-AU plan, which calls for the deployment of 22,000 forces to help protect and provide relief to victims of civil strife in Darfur.