SUDAN WATCH: US says UN force needed to stop Sudan offensive in Darfur

Friday, August 25, 2006

US says UN force needed to stop Sudan offensive in Darfur

Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer spoke to reporters hours before leaving for Sudan to exhort Sudanese officials to accept the presence of a UN peacekeeping force, Sudan Tribune reported Aug 25, 2006. Excerpt:
Frazer said the people of Darfur wouldn't regard government troops as a neutral force because of Khartoum's record of supporting Janjaweed militias who have terrorized the region.

At the same time, she said, the abuses of anti-government rebel forces in Darfur shouldn't be ignored.

Frazer, who will meet with el-Bashir in the coming days, said she is willing to go the "last mile" to overcome his opposition to a UN force.

The financially strapped 7,000-strong AU force now deployed in Darfur is to cease to exist on Sept. 30. Under a proposal that Frazer says has broad backing in the UN Security Council, the Africans would be "rehatted" as a U.N. force the next day and eventually be joined by other soldiers.

Unless the UN force can be created, there will be no force in place in Darfur "to stop this government from carrying out what has been the genocide," Frazer said.

She predicted that her mission to Khartoum will be successful.

"I'm fully confident there will be a transition to a UN force," she said.


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