SUDAN WATCH: Arab funds for Darfur force too late-AU official

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Arab funds for Darfur force too late-AU official

An Arab offer to fund African Union forces in Darfur from October 1st is too late as troops need immediate cash, an AU official said today, reported Reuters:
"This is medicine after death," said Baba Gana Kingibe, the head of the AU mission in Sudan. "We need the assistance now in order to be able to resolve the crisis."

Kingibe said the AU mission, with its increased needs, now cost $24 million a month to run.

"We have assured funding to the end of March," he told Reuters, adding the European Union had also pledged 50 million euros ($60.02 million).
Note, a few days ago, Sudan said it felt a comprehensive peace agreement for Darfur might be reached before the end of April. UN peacekeepers may be negotiated as part of that peace deal, to monitor the truce.

The UN Security Council has asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan to report by April 24 with a plan for the possible take over. The AU has agreed in principle to support the transition. Khartoum said it might be possible to consider UN troops for Darfur when a peace deal has been agreed.

As noted here at Sudan Watch yesterday, some of the opposition to UN troops in Darfur seems to be to do with fears that the 51 people listed at the UN/ICC as suspected Darfur war criminals could be arrested by any UN forces in Darfur. One year or so ago, I'd read a news report about tribal leaders not turning up at Darfur peace and reconciliation talks out of fear of being ambushed, attacked or arrested. Perhaps some sort of amnesty deal could be brokered, in return for disarmament. Who disarms first, the rebels or the Janjaweed? Members of both are among the list of 51 names being investigated by the ICC.

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