Britain and the United States called for a vote on Thursday on a U.N. resolution to allow the United Nations to begin assembling a peacekeeping force for Sudan's Darfur region, despite opposition from the government in Khartoum.
The resolution would require the Sudanese government's consent before actual deployment, but Western powers expect Khartoum to eventually accept a U.N. presence in Darfur, as it already has in southern Sudan.
"I think council colleagues understand why we really do need to act" in Darfur, British U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said on Tuesday after two weeks of Security Council deliberations on the measure drafted by Washington and London.
"Our judgment here is that we think we've found a formulation that would win acceptance on the council and achieve the objective we've been seeking, which is the early transfer of (peacekeeping) responsibility in Darfur to the United Nations," said U.S. Ambassador John Bolton.
The envoys spoke with reporters a day after U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland warned the 15-nation council of a looming new humanitarian disaster in Darfur and said U.N. inaction could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths.
The two ambassadors said a revised text would be circulated before council talks set for Wednesday.
Diplomats said it would state explicitly that the force could go in only with the Sudan government's consent, since council members agreed deployment would be impossible without it.
"It will address consent among other issues and will be clear on how the transition will take place," Jones Parry said.
BBC World Service broadcasts to Juba in Southern Sudan and surrounding areas in Arabic on 90.0 FM and in English on 88.2 FM. In Northern Sudan: Khartoum 91.0 FM, Al Ubayyid 91.0 FM, Port Sudan 91.0 FM and Wad Madani 91.5 FM.
“Violence will bring no victory. For the sake of the Darfur civilians, all parties to the conflict have to stop resorting to violence. This is the absolute priority.” - Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, 05 June 2009
"APPREHENSION" by Rob Rooker. Painted on a wall in Maridi, Sudan. The image is of a young Nuer boy looking up among a crowd of people. Click on image for more details. Cards & prints of Rob's paintings can be purchased online at Imagekind.com