SUDAN WATCH: No-flight zone over Darfur would be impossible to implement

Friday, March 31, 2006

No-flight zone over Darfur would be impossible to implement

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Monday phoned NATO's chief to develop a range of possible options for supporting the AMIS and its possible takeover by the UN. But officials said there was unlikely to be a step-change in NATO's military commitment.

"There will be a beefed up NATO role, but there will be no NATO lead in Darfur. People here are talking about more of the same, maybe with more planners and logistical help," said one. Appathurai said the 57-year old bloc would look at Annan's request "in the context of what NATO is already providing."

One NATO diplomat told the International Herald Tribune that neither the Sudanese government nor the African Union "want to see white, European troops coming into Sudan," adding that the idea of a no-flight zone over Darfur would be impossible to implement. "Which NATO country would be willing to shoot down a Sudanese plane?"

Full report by Gareth Harding (UPI/ST) 30 Mar 2006.

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