Sudan accepts UN peace package for Darfur
It has accepted the UN package for Darfur, including the deployment of peacekeeping operation of UN and AU troops.india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 08:15 IST
The Sudanese government has accepted the UN package for Darfur, including the deployment of what is called a "hybrid" peacekeeping operation of UN and AU troops, a Foreign Ministry spokesman has said.
Spokesman Sadeq al-Magli on Friday said the number of troops in the hybrid force "would be decided by the commander and his committee, and we have to state clearly that the entire command would be from the African Union."
The comment reflected his government's long standing opposition to the deployment of 20,000 UN troops in Darfur, as proposed by the UN Security Council.
In deference to Khartoum's opposition, the UN scaled back its plans to replace the AU force of 7,000 troops in Darfur with the much bigger UN operation and, since early November, has been pushing to reinforce the existing peacekeepers with smaller numbers of UN personnel as well as technical and financial assistance.
He said on Friday that the peacekeeping troops would come mainly from African Union countries, but the UN would provide technical assistance, consultants and military and police experts.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he believed the Sudan government had also agreed to make renewed efforts to enforce a cease-fire and negotiate peace with those Darfur rebels who rejected the peace agreement of May. Annan said he had heard that President Omar al-Bashir would approve "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.