Sweden and Norway were ready to deploy 400 soldiers in Darfur to support the UN peacekeeping forces, but due to the cartoon crisis in 2006 the regime in Khartoum has refused to accept troops from Scandinavia.
”The Opposition from Sudan makes it impossible to keep the promise of a Norwegian-Swedish commitment,” the ministers of foreign affairs from the two countries said in a statement.
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir stated in November that he won’t accept soldiers from Scandinavian countries, where newspapers published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.
”No one who speaks blasphemeous of the prophet will be allowed to set foot on Sudan soil,” said President al-Bashir.
The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of Mohammed in September 2005, and the Norwegian newspaper Magazinet reprinted the cartoons in January 2006. None of the big Swedish newspapers published the cartoons, but in the fall of 2007 they reproduced drawings of Mohammed as a dog by Swedish artist Lars Vilks that were censored by several Swedish art institutions.