KHARTOUM, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday vowed to end the Darfur conflict this year through peaceful negotiations or by forcing the region's rebels to stop fighting.
"This year will witness the end of the Darfur issue. We will welcome the party that wants peace, and the party which will refuse, we will force it to come," said al-Bashir in an address to a gathering in the eastern Sudanese city of Port-Sudan that was broadcasted by the national TV Wednesday.
"There will be no third option. He who wants peace is welcomed and he who rejects reconciliation, we will teach him a lesson and bring him by force," he added.
The Sudanese president further affirmed that his government would not negotiate with any armed group outside the negotiation forum in the Qatari capital of Doha, saying that "there won't be any negotiations outside Doha. We will not allow another negotiation forum and even the Doha negotiations will have a specific timeline."
In the meantime, the Sudanese president lashed out at the western countries which he described as "colonialist," saying that "those countries will not have a sovereignty over us. We did not seek enmity with them, but they are lying in wait for us. We will work to improve our relations with the western countries, but without relinquishing our faith or our independence or our resources."
Al-Bashir on Wednesday started a visit to Port-Sudan, capital of Eastern Sudan, in the first visit outside the capital Khartoum since he was re-elected Sudanese president in the general elections, held in April.