SUDAN WATCH: Ceasefire needed before peacekeepers in Darfur: UN

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ceasefire needed before peacekeepers in Darfur: UN

Dec 5 2006 Reuters report via WP Ceasefire needed before peacekeepers in Darfur: UN - excerpt:
A ceasefire and political talks must take place in Sudan's Darfur region before an international military force there could guarantee security, the head of U.N. peacekeeping said on Tuesday.

Jean-Marie Guehenno said the international community must demand assurances an African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur would be effective before it offered funding and equipment.

"To stop this tragedy, there must first be a ceasefire on the ground," Guehenno told reporters.

"As long as arms talk, there cannot be a political process, and as long as there is no political process then no force is going to change the situation.

"We must have a ceasefire, a political process and then a credible force," Guehenno said. He arrived in Kinshasa for the inauguration of President Joseph Kabila, Congo's first democratically elected president in more than 40 years.

"We must have an efficient force which can make a difference on the ground," Guehenno said. Discussions continued over its possible composition, he said.

"If the United Nations is to take the historic decision of financing a force which will not be composed entirely of UN troops, then UN member states must have the sensation that mission will really make a difference."


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