Sudan summons top US diplomat over sanctions
Sudan has summoned the top US diplomat in Khartoum on Wednesday to protest Washington's sponsorship of a draft UN resolution extending sanctions over Darfur that could target gold mining.
UN Security Council Resolution 1591, passed in 2005, imposed travel bans and asset freezes on parties involved in the conflict in the western Darfur region.
The panel of experts for the 1591 Sudan sanctions committee plans to be renewed soon.
A statement by foreign ministry, which summoned the US diplomat, said the draft resolution includes "paragraphs unfair to Sudan dealing with the matter of gold mining in Sudan".
The US envoy was told that the "draft resolution was contrary to the spirit of bilateral relations between the two countries," the statement added, without giving details about the draft.
Resolution 1591 does not currently target the gold industry in Darfur, which some activists have said is driving conflicts over land in the region.
Washington slapped Sudan with a trade embargo in 1997 over alleged rights abuses and the Khartoum government's alleged backing for hardline militant groups.
In recent months, Sudan has called for the US to relax its sanctions.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted president Omar Hassan al-Bashir in 2009 over war crimes related to the Darfur conflict, but he has denied the counts.
Ethnic insurgents mounted a campaign against Bashir's government in Darfur in 2003, claiming their region was being marginalised.
Some 300,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and there are 2.5 million people who have been forced to flee their homes in the region, according to the UN.
Fighting has flared around the isolated Jebel Marra area in Darfur since 15 January, with tens of thousands of civilians displaced in the fighting.
Meanwhile, a Reuters report alleged that Bashir has replaced his chief of staff with a military general who played a central role in mediating negotiations with anti-government forces.
Lieutenant General Emadeddine Mostafa Adawi has now replaced Lieutenant General Mostafa Obeid, who acted as Bashir’s chief of staff for less than three years, Sudan's military spokesman told Reuters.