SUDAN WATCH: Sudan's plan for Darfur involves its own force, not the UN's

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sudan's plan for Darfur involves its own force, not the UN's

In her commentary in the New York Times Aug 22, 2006, Lydia Polgreen notes that Sudan's Darfur protection plan, delivered to the UN Aug 2, does not explicitly reject a UN force. Fellow blogger Ed posted a copy of the commentary before it slipped into NYT archive. Not sure if this is an excerpt or copy in full:

Sudan's Plan for Darfur Involves Its Own Force, Not the U.N.'s
By LYDIA POLGREEN KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 21 2006

Sudan's government has proposed using more than 10,000 of its own troops to quell the violence in the troubled region of Darfur instead of the United Nations peacekeeping force that it has repeatedly refused.

The Sudanese plan was presented to the United Nations Security Council last week, but whether it is a serious blueprint or another tactic in the country's efforts to stall or thwart a United Nations peacekeeping force remains to be seen. Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has been engaged in an escalating war of words over the proposed United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur, declaring that Sudan would "defeat any forces entering the country just as Hezbollah has defeated the Israeli forces," according to the state-run news agency, Suna.

Under the plan, the Sudanese government would use the troops to "gain control of the security situation and achieve stability in Darfur" and to "deal with the threats posed by the activities of groups that have rejected the Darfur peace agreement," which was signed on May 5.

The plan does not explicitly reject a United Nations force, which the United States and others have advocated to secure the shaky peace agreement. But it makes clear that Sudan believes it should be responsible for stabilizing the worsening crisis in Darfur.

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