Friday, December 22, 2006

Sudan agrees on UN-AU hybrid operation in Darfur - First phase of plan starts next week

Note Sudan's Foreign Ministry has a peace department. Dec 21 2006 Xinhua news report - Sudan agrees on UN-AU hybrid operation in Darfur : - excerpt:
The Sudanese government announced on Thursday that it had agreed on a hybrid peacekeeping operation of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) in Darfur instead of the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in the war- torn region.

The announcement was made by al-Sadig al-Magli, director of the peace department in Sudan's Foreign Ministry, following a meeting between Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir and visiting Special Envoy of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Sudan Ahmedou Ould Abdallah.

"The hybrid operation means the logistic, technical and consultative support to be provided by the UN to the AU force in Darfur and extending it with resources and materials", the Sudanese official told reporters.

He reiterated the Sudanese government's refusal of deploying an international force subordinate to the UN but a hybrid force formed by the UN and the AU in Darfur.

Abdallah, on his part, announced that he had delivered a letter to the Sudanese president from the UN secretary general concerning a three-phase plan of UN support for the AU force in Darfur.

He said that the world body would begin to implement the first phase of the plan next week.

The UN envoy arrived in Khartoum on Wednesday on a three-day visit in Sudan during which he would discuss with the Sudanese government on the situation in Darfur and the role of the UN in seeking a solution for the crisis in the region.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Aug. 31 calling for the deployment of more than 20,000 international peacekeepers to replace the 7,800 AU force in Darfur, which is suffering the lack of funds, equipment and experience.

The Sudanese government rejected the mission transfer, saying it was a violation of Sudan’s sovereignty and an effort by the West to colonize the African oil producing country.

The AU Peace and Security Council agreed on Nov. 30 to extend the mandate of the AU force in Darfur for six months until June 30 next year.

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