Joint UN-AU assessment team due in Khartoum Friday
A joint assessment team of the United Nations and the African Union (UN) is to arrive in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Friday to hold consultations with the Sudanese government on the UN's role in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region, a Sudanese official announced on Tuesday.
Jamal Mohammed Ibrahim, spokesman of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, made the announcement following a meeting between the ministry and a UN delegation which is currently visiting Sudan.
Ibrahim told reporters that the two sides agreed during the meeting that the international society should play a role in Darfur.
"The two sides have stressed the importance of the role which the international society could play to help implement the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and strengthen the efforts exerted by the signatories of the DPA to realize the security and stability in Darfur," said the spokesman.
He also said that the UN delegation expressed understanding of the views of the Sudanese government concerning the issue.
Khartoum has called for international support and help for the AU peacekeeping forces currently deployed in Darfur so that the troops can continue their mission there.
"Members of the UN delegation also reiterated the world body`s respect for the sovereignty of Sudan and that any operation of the UN in Sudan should not be launched without an agreement of the Sudanese government," Ibrahim added.
On May 25, the Sudanese government agreed to led in the joint UN-AU team following a meeting between Sudanese President Omer al- Bashir and UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
The joint assessment team is demanded by a UN Security Council resolution adopted on May 16, which calls for a quick deployment of UN peacekeepers in Darfur.
Brahimi said that the team was to evaluate requirements for a transition of the peacekeeping mission to the UN from the AU.
The Sudanese government, meanwhile, refused any military role of the UN in Darfur, affirming that a peace agreement, which the government signed with a main Darfur rebel faction on May 5, did not include in its security arrangements any role for the UN or any other party except the AU.
Photo: The UN flag flies outside the UN Mission to Sudan (UNMIS) in Khartoum June 6, 2006, as the United Nations Security Council meets inside during their fact finding mission regarding the situation in Darfur. REUTERS/Chip East (SUDAN)
Photo: Members of the United Nations Security Council meet with Sudan's Minister of Council of Ministers Deng Alor (C) in Khartoum June 6, 2006, as the council tours the region on a fact finding mission about the situation in Darfur. REUTERS/Chip East (SUDAN)
Photo: Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, center, talks as Britain's UN Ambassador Sir Emyr Jones Parry, who is leading the UN mission, first left, looks on during their meeting, in Khartoum, Tuesday, June 6, 2006. (AP)
Jun 6, 2006 Malaysia Sun - UN to coach African Union on Darfur: The United Nations is stepping in to determine if UN peacekeepers should augment African Union troops in dealing with unrest in Darfur.