SUDAN WATCH: UN chief talks with Sudan's president on UN peacekeeping operation - Troops, by themselves, cannot be the full answer

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

UN chief talks with Sudan's president on UN peacekeeping operation - Troops, by themselves, cannot be the full answer

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has spoken with the Sudanese President seeking support for the deployment of a UN team assessing conditions for a possible peacekeeping operation in Darfur, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday.

Dujarric told reporters at the UN HQ in New York that Annan told President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir that he hoped to see the UN assessment mission to be dispatched as soon as possible and sought the cooperation and support of the Sudanese Government to that end. - Xinhua May 23, 2006.

Abu Shouk Camp N Darfur

Photo: Displaced Sudanese women queue at a water point 21 May 2006 in Abu Shouk camp, close to Al-Fasher, the capital of the war-torn Sudanese northern Darfur region. (AFP/File/Ramzi Haidar)

May 23 2006 UN News Service: Asked whether States were prepared to contribute personnel to a UN mission in Darfur, the peacekeeping chief said a number "have expressed a measure of interest" but noted that none would make a commitment in the absence of a Security Council mandate and clear information about the situation on the ground. "No country is going to start spending money preparing its troops for a possible deployment until it knows that this deployment is going to happen for real," he said.

Mr Guehenno also underscored the importance of a comprehensive approach to addressing the Darfur conflict. "The troops, by themselves, cannot be the full answer. There has to be a political process that the troops support," he said.

Darfur rebels in Tina, N Darfur

Photo: Rebels from the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) pose 21 May 2006 in a deserted house in Tina, a small village abandoned by its residents after being attacked in March, southwest of Al-Fasher, the capital of the war-torn Sudanese northern Darfur region. Apart from a few tarred roads and a handful of settlements connected to mains electricity, North Darfur state is a collection of miserable villages in which people survive on the bare minimum. (AFP/File/Ramzi Haidar)

See May 23, 2006 NYT/CT report from Tina, Sudan by Lydia Polgreen: Rebels' rivalry subverts hope for Darfur peace

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