SUDAN WATCH: Security Council pushes Sudan over UN Darfur force

Friday, May 12, 2006

Security Council pushes Sudan over UN Darfur force

The Security Council was expected to adopt a resolution next week increasing pressure on Sudan's government to allow a UN peacekeeping force into Darfur later this year, council diplomats said today - Reuters (Irwin Arieff):
UN diplomats said the 15-nnation Security Council, which authorises peacekeeping operations, was near consensus on a US draft resolution calling for UN military planners to be in Darfur within a week of the measure's approval.

The resolution would also urge the government and Darfur rebels to work with AU and UN officials "to accelerate transition to a United Nations operation."

The council planned to wait to vote until after a Monday meeting in Addis Ababa of the AU Peace and Security Council, where a decision was due on whether -- and, if so, when -- to shift to a UN mission in Darfur, diplomats said.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has already written Sudanese President Lt Gen Omar Hassan al-Bashir about the planning team and expects the planners to be granted visas soon, UN chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"The expectation continues that we will have a joint planning team with the African Union on the ground in Darfur as soon as possible," Dujarric told reporters. "We would expect the government of Sudan to cooperate fully and let this team do its work."


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