SUDAN WATCH: EU to up pressure on Sudan for UN Darfur mission

Friday, May 12, 2006

EU to up pressure on Sudan for UN Darfur mission

The European Union will press Sudan on Monday to drop what diplomats see as growing resistance from Khartoum to a UN peace mission in Darfur, EU officials said on Friday, Reuters (Ingrid Melander) reported today:
The Sudanese government has said it would consider a role for the United Nations after a peace agreement. But EU officials say Khartoum is still reluctant to accept the UN mission despite the Abuja accord.

An EU official speaking on condition of anonymity said Sudanese resistance to a UN mission was, if anything, growing.

"More and more openly, since the peace agreement was signed in Abuja, they say (the U.N. mission) is not necessary," the official said.

"This is certainly not the position of the EU and the United States. ... It is not acceptable to us, we will continue to exert pressure."

According to a text drafted for a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday, the 25-member bloc will stress that the transition to the UN force is "the only viable option for providing sustained stability and security in the long-term" in Darfur.

The EU's foreign ministers meeting in Brussels occurs on the same day African Union ministers meet in Addis Ababa to decide the next step toward bringing peace to Darfur, including transferring the mission to the United Nations.

The AU also hopes to gain support of two rebel factions who have yet to accept the Darfur peace deal.


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