SUDAN WATCH: UN's Annan wants US, Europe to consider force to police Darfur - AU considers Darfur Mission hand over to UN

Friday, January 13, 2006

UN's Annan wants US, Europe to consider force to police Darfur - AU considers Darfur Mission hand over to UN

Reuters report Jan 12 says the African Union is considering handing over its Darfur Mission to the United Nations because of lack of funds:
"The time has come to make a pronouncement on the future of the AU Mission in Darfur and the ways and means to adapt it to the present challenges, including the hand over to the United Nations at the appropriate time," said a report by the AU Peace and Security Council, obtained by Reuters.
UN's Annan wants US, Europe to consider force to police Darfur

The Reuters report quotes Secretary-General Kofi Annan as saying on Wednesday the UN is considering a tough mobile force to police Darfur and hopes the US and European military will help stop the bloodshed, rape and plunder.

But here's the catch [over the past two years, Sudan has refused an expanded mandate for AU peacekeepers and all offers of other foreign troops as it would be seen as occupation - and forced entry as an act of war - was supported on this stance by China, Russia and many African leaders]: Mr Annan said that first the Sudanese government, the 15-member UN Security Council and the 53-member African Union, which has sent the only foreign troops to Darfur, had to agree to a UN operation:
"We need to get the (Sudan) government to work with us in bringing in an expanded force with troops from outside Africa, because until recently it has maintained that it will only accept African troops," Annan told reporters. "But I think we have gone beyond that now."

"Obviously the international community cannot allow that situation to go unaddressed, and in all likelihood will have to look at other options, including possibly the U.N. working with the African Union to address the situation."
Annan warns Darfur rebels

Annan said Darfur rebels now were also attacking people and warned them to take seriously negotiations now being held with the Khartoum government in Abuja, Nigeria.

Sudanese president wants to chair African Union

Note the report quotes Mr Annan as saying any AU handover would take months. Also, it explains a decision on the future of the AU's Darfur Mission is to be taken at summit in Khartoum Jan 23-24. [The summit is where the Sudanese president, listed in a magazine poll last year as the world's worst dictator, will find himself between a rock and a hard place under the world's media spotlight, when decisions on Darfur are made as he hopes to be voted Chair of African Union - voting takes place during the summit.]

Sudan's president Omar al-Beshir

Photo: Sudanese President al-Bashir.

Designate Sudan as sponsor of terrorism is a mistake - Bashir

Sudan has been on the United States list of state sponsors of terrorism since August 1993. Following a thorough intelligence review, Sudan's Islamist government was found to be providing sanctuary, safe passage, military training, financial support and office space in Khartoum to officials of international terrorist and radical Islamic groups at that time.

On the first November 2005, US President George W. Bush has extended for one year sanctions against Sudan, a country the United States considers a sponsor of terrorism, the White House announced in a statement.

African Union have resources until March

Jan 12, 2006 UN News Centre UN weighs options for Darfur as funds for African Union force run low - "From what I know, they (the AU) have resources up till March," Mr. Annan told journalists after his monthly luncheon with the 15 Security Council members. [via Coalition for Darfur]

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