SUDAN WATCH: Joint UN-AU team of 40 arrive in Khartoum today to begin planning for strengthening AU Mission in Darfur

Friday, June 09, 2006

Joint UN-AU team of 40 arrive in Khartoum today to begin planning for strengthening AU Mission in Darfur

A United Nations mission arrived in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, today to begin planning for the deployment of UN peacekeepers to end three years of fighting in the western region of Darfur, Bloomberg reported June 9 - excerpt:
The team of 40 people from the UN and the African Union is being led by Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guehenno and will visit Darfur and hold talks with senior government officials over a period of 18 days, said Jim Landale, a spokesman for the UN mission.

"The goal of the mission is to look at what can be done to strengthen the African Union force mission now and plan for a possible takeover by a United Nations peacekeeping mission," Landale said today in an interview in Khartoum.

The peace deal gives the rebels the right to appoint a senior assistant to the president, formally the fourth-highest position in government, and one state governor in Darfur and two deputy governors. They also have 12 seats in the National Assembly. Regional elections are to be held within three years.

The government committed itself to disarm militias known as the Janjaweed by mid-October, to integrate former rebel fighters into the armed forces, and to contribute $700 million to a regional development fund in the next three years.

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