SUDAN WATCH: Sudan agrees to U.N. role in Darfur but commander must be African and peacekeepers must be mostly African

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sudan agrees to U.N. role in Darfur but commander must be African and peacekeepers must be mostly African

Dec 23 2006 AP report by Mohamed Osman, Khartoum - Sudan agrees to U.N. role in restive Darfur (via PG) - excerpt:
Mr Annan said he had received an optimistic report from an envoy sent to Khartoum, encouraging him to "think we may tomorrow receive a green light from President Bashir for a full cease-fire, a renewed effort to bring all parties into [the] political process and deployment of the proposed African Union-United Nations hybrid force."

[Sudanese FM spokesman] Mr Magli said his government had not yet seen Mr Annan's statement, but it was true that "Sudan has confirmed to the [U.N.] envoy that it would sit down for peace talks with the rebel factions any time, anywhere."

He said the world should pressure rebel factions that did not sign a May peace accord "to come to ceasefire talks and to stop attacking. But for us in the government, yes, we have confirmed our commitment to the ceasefire."

Earlier this week, Mr Annan wrote to Mr Bashir, saying the United Nations would make every effort to find African peacekeepers, but, if that proved impossible, it would use "a broader pool of troop-contributing countries."

Mr Annan said the first phase of the plan would enhance the AU force by 105 military officers, 33 UN police and 48 international staffers, according to a copy of the letter released by the UN. But he said the mission would eventually have a minimum strength of 17,300 troops, 3,300 civilian police and 16 additional police units.

Mr Magli said his government accepted that phase, but insisted that the number of troops would be negotiated by the force commander and delegates from the United Nations, the African Union and Sudan.
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Dec 23 2006 BBC report: Sudan 'to accept UN Darfur force'

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