SUDAN WATCH: Gen. Martin L. Agwai of Nigeria appointed new Force Commander of AMIS

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gen. Martin L. Agwai of Nigeria appointed new Force Commander of AMIS

Late May 2007 news report excerpt [insert link]:
Yesterday Mr. Konare, in consultation with Mr. Ban, appointed Gen. Martin L. Agwai of Nigeria – who has previously served the UN in Sierra Leone and as a military adviser – as the new Force Commander of AMIS.

“The Secretary-General welcomes this decision and looks forward to Gen. Agwai’s close cooperation with the UN to facilitate the deployment of the Heavy Support Package for AMIS and to eventually command the hybrid AU-UN operation in Darfur,” his spokesperson said in a statement issued today.
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Hugs and kisses not war

Kouchner and SLM-Nur

Photo: The leader of the SLM, Abdelwhaid al-Nur, welcomed by the former French minister Bernard Kouchner, March 20, 2007. (AP via Sudan Tribune)

French air bridge in Chad

June 18, 2007 Islam Online report excerpt:
The first flight of a French air bridge to ferry humanitarian aid to victims of the Darfur crisis touched down Sunday in Goz Beida town, is 90 kilometers from the Sudanese border.

"To start with, we will be transporting from N'Djamena priority items -- mats, water bottles, blankets and so forth -- that are sorely lacking as the rainy season nears," Colonel Jean-Bruno Vautrey, head of the French military in Chad, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

There are 40,000 of Darfur refugees along with two-thirds of the 150,000 Chadians displaced by communal and trans-border fighting are in the Dar Sila region that includes Goz Beida.

Vautrey said the air bridge would continue "so long as the state of the runway is not put in danger and there is a need to fulfill. Aid will be evaluated once a week."

Some 50 French military personnel are currently in Goz Beida.

The air bridge was announced earlier June by Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who stressed the "urgency" of the situation in the region with the onset of the rainy season.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed the air bridge, hoping it would "help avoid any critical gaps in our operation to feed thousands of people".

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