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UN Council breaks deadlock on Darfur resolution

UNITED NATIONS: U.N. Security Council members broke a deadlock on Wednesday over a resolution to keep peacekeepers in Darfur and acknowledge worries about a possible genocide indictment of Sudanís president, diplomats said.

The 15 council members will vote on the British-drafted resolution on Thursday, council diplomats said. The draft, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, extends the mandate of the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudanís war-ravaged western Darfur region until July 31, 2009.

The diplomats said they expected the resolution to be approved unanimously. Sudanís U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem told Reuters it was an ďacceptableĒ text.

After weeks of back-room haggling over the wording, Western council members agreed to a compromise text that refers to concerns that African council members, Russia, China and others have about the International Criminal Court chief prosecutorís request for an arrest warrant for Sudanís leader over Darfur.

The Western countries, led by Britain, the United States and France, had resisted including any language in the resolution suggesting the council could freeze any ICC moves on President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

They said there was no point mentioning it in a resolution to renew the peacekeepersí mandate. But they struck a compromise after seven council members ó South Africa, Libya, Burkina Faso, China, Russia, Vietnam and Indonesia ó conditioned extending the peacekeeping mandate on referring to their worries about the impact an ICC indictment of Bashir could have on the fragile Darfur peace process.

Thursday, Reuters

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