A senior UN official is to travel to east Africa early next week to discuss prospects for a UN takeover of the African Union peacekeeping mission Darfur, AFP
reported April 7, 2006.
Jean-Marie Guehenno, the UN under-secretary general in charge of peacekeeping operations, told AFP Thursday that the official would first stop in Addis Ababa for talks with AU officials before holding contacts with Sudanese authorities and other regional leaders. A diplomatic source said Guehenno's deputy, Hedi Annabi, would make the trip.
"The priority at this time is to clear misunderstandings which Sudanese authorities and others may have had about the role of a UN force in Darfur," Guehenno said.
"As all UN peacekeeping forces, the mission will be deployed with the consent of the host country," he added.
The UN has indicated it could send peacekeepers by the end of the year or at the beginning of 2007 to take over from AU troops.