SUDAN WATCH: British troops may join UN Darfur force

Saturday, January 14, 2006

British troops may join UN Darfur force

The UN is to ask Britain to provide troops for a beefed-up peacekeeping force to tackle an upsurge of violence in Darfur.

British military sources said yesterday that Britain would "actively consider such a request."

See full report by Gethin Chamberlain, Chief News Correspondent at the Scotsman who was one of the first journalists reporting on Darfur from the field two years ago.

Note the report says "UN sources told The Scotsman that the UK would be expected to be "instrumental" in bringing to bear political pressure for such a mission and in providing components of the force."
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Blair to replace Kofi Annan at UN?

Good news. BBC report January 14, 2006 says Clinton backs Blair as UN chief.
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Support in the Security Council for a UN takeover

UK based anti-genocide watchdog Aegis Trust, in a Press Release 13 January 2006, hails movement toward UN mandate for Darfur. Excerpt:

Britain's UN Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said there was support in the Security Council for a UN takeover. "We're quite clear that's what we need to do if the African Union agrees," he said after Thursday's lunch with the Secretary General. "But the African Union must be brought to agree."
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AU backs UN plan for Sudan force

BBC January 14 says AU backs UN plan for Sudan force. Excerpt:

"The government of Sudan obviously cannot be the one to make a choice about this," deputy chairman of the AU Commission, Patrick Mazimphaka, told the BBC. He said the AU mission in Darfur and observers on the ground were better placed to assess what was needed.

The BBC's Africa editor Martin Plaut says that if this position is backed by the African heads of state, it will mark a very real change in the status of the AU itself.

Note the report states, Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol told the BBC the UN had no business proposing a new force without Khartoum's approval.

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