SUDAN WATCH: Draft resolution proposes extending UNMIS to cover Darfur; AU force would transfer to UN by end Sep

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Draft resolution proposes extending UNMIS to cover Darfur; AU force would transfer to UN by end Sep

FT.com report Sudan under pressure to admit UN force by Jonathan Birchall at the UN and Andrew England in Nairobi Aug 17 2006. Excerpt:
Diplomatic efforts to persuade Sudan to admit United Nations peacekeepers to Darfur intensified on Thursday, as Britain introduced a draft Security Council resolution that could lead to the deployment of up to 20,000 UN troops and police in the troubled region.

The draft resolution came as the Security Council met to discuss the continuing violence in Darfur, despite a peace agreement signed in May by the government and one of the three main rebel groups.

The draft resolution would require the consent of President Bashir for the force to be deployed to Darfur, but is seen as a way of increasing the pressure on him to do so. It proposes extending the existing UN mission in Sudan - Unmis - to cover Darfur as well, and giving its military commander the ability to move troops between the two regions as required.

Under the draft resolution, the African Union force would be transferred to the UN's authority by the end of September, with UN members providing additional logistical and transport support that would increase its ability to move across a region the size of France.

Meanwhile, the rebels have split into numerous factions and the fighting often turns into banditry, creating an environment that would pose enormous challenges for any peacekeeping force.

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