SUDAN WATCH: UN site agreed for Sudan peacekeepers - Denmark to send 45 soldiers by March

Monday, January 17, 2005

UN site agreed for Sudan peacekeepers - Denmark to send 45 soldiers by March

Agence France-Presse report Jan 12: UN peacekeepers to be sent to Sudan after a peace agreement between Khartoum and the SPLM will be based at Kassala in the east of the country, a news report said Wednesday.

By mutual agreement between Sudanese and UN authorities, offices and barracks will be built close to the airport at Kassala, Sudan's Akhbar Al-Yum newspaper reported. According to the paper, the UN force is to number 7,000 troops, although no official UN decision has been announced on the size of a possible contingent.
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Denmark to send 45 soldiers to Sudan by March

China View report Jan 10: Denmark will send 45 soldiers to Sudan to take part in the UNs peacekeeping force there after the peace agreement Khartoum signed with the rebels in south Sudan, Ritzau news bureau reported on Monday.

Danish Captain Karsten Engdahl said the Danish soldiers will be part of the headquarters company. "We expect that our soldiers will work in the headquarters company which is being established. They may work as, for example, drivers, bookkeeping personnel or in intelligence," he said to Danish newspaper Information. He said Sudan is not a safe place, so the UN wants soldiers rather than civilian personnel for the work there.

The soldiers will be part of the UN's standing reactionary force, SHIRBRIG, which is based at Hovelte Kaserne north of Copenhagen. Commander of the force, Brigadier General Greg Mitchell, expected it will be two weeks before the UN Security Council issues a mandate for the peacekeeping force. "Then we expect our people will be in place in Sudan within 45 days. That will put them in Sudan at the beginning of March," said General Mitchell.

Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller welcomed the peace agreement and promised that Denmark will cooperate with a UN request to provide troops. "The agreement in Sudan is a groundbreaking contribution for peace in the country," he said. "This historic agreement can increase political stability and economic prosperity in Sudan and the region as a whole."

Further reading:

Inter Press Service report June 14, 2004: Peacekeepers a drop in the ocean; rebels in south Sudan have welcomed the UNs decision to send a peacekeeping mission to the country to monitor agreements that would end Africa's longest running civil war.

Interesting site: Citizens for Global Solutions.
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Khartoum, opposition NDA agree on wide-ranging issues

China View report Jan 16: The Sudanese government and the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) agreed Sunday on wide-ranging issues after three rounds of talks held here since August, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported.

MENA said the two sides, which kicked off a third round of talks last Friday, are expected to sign a final agreement in February. Khartoum and the NDA agreed to form a joint committee tostreamline the opposition group and its proxy troops to assimilatethem into the country's legislative, executive and federal institutions, according to the agency.

The NDA, an umbrella group which includes southern Sudanese rebels and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), one of the two main rebel groups in Darfur.
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EU to release Sudan's frozen funds?

So far, I have seen no other news confirming a Jan 16 report out of Khartoum that says the EU are releasing 786 million US dollars to Sudan. The source of the report is Sudanese Foreign Minister Ismail who also said a high-level delegation from Sudan, headed by VP Taha, will visit Brussels to sign the EU agreement, and plan to visit other European countries next month to boost bilateral relations. I hope this report is not true. The ink is barely dry on the new peace deal. US Ambassador Danforth says from experience that agreements in Sudan tend to be written in disappearing ink. Hopefully, travel restrictions will be imposed when the findings of the UNs investigation into genocide in Darfur are made public around Jan 25.


Blogger Black River Eagle said...

The same report from the Chinese news agency Xinhua appeared over on the SPLMToday website:

I would like to hear (or read about) what the EU agencies responsible for these "frozen" funds have to say about this report and the scheduled visit from the Sudan's Foreign Minister Ismail and V.P. Taha to Brussels in February 2005.

Be interesting to see how the international and European media companies cover this story next month as well. I would bet that it gets minimum airtime on TV.

Sort of puts a big hole in the Divest Sudan campaign and other similar initiatives to put serious economic pressure on the Khartoum regime and their business partners around the world, doesn't it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005  

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