UN forces may replace African troops in Darfur

DUBAI — UN forces may be deployed in Darfur to replace African forces sent by the African Union. This was stated yesterday by Al Sadiq Al Mahdi, President of the Umma Party and former prime minister of Sudan, while addressing a Press conference to shed light on a number of issues related to the current political situation in Sudan.


Amira Agarib

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Published: Sun 19 Mar 2006, 10:10 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:30 PM

Peacekeeping duties in Sudan are the crucial issue for ceasefire, stoppage of abuses and protection of Darfur civilians, he said. He reiterated that UN deployment forces is a legitimate action to enforce peace in Darfur. “We cannot describe the deployment of the UN forces as an invasion as it has been named by some Sudan government officials and it is being executed under the UN umbrella,” Al Mahdi said.

He added that the dispute between Sudan government and the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) and their failure to overcome the dispute has opened the door for international forces. For the first time in the history of Sudan, the UN Security Council has issued the Resolution No. 1593 which calls on the Sudanese government and all the parties to the conflict in Darfur to fully cooperate, and the UN has issued a number of resolutions, including Resolution No. 1590 on the support of the peace process between North and South Sudan, support the African Union and provision of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable groups.

“Three years ago, the Sudan government has rejected the intervention of UN and accepted the IGADD Initiative, and in April and September 2004, they welcomed the supervision of African Union forces for the Darfur sitution. However, the African Union forces have failed to maintain security, ceasefire, and protection of civilians,” Sudan’s former prime minister said.

Al Mahdi added that international interference is inevitable because the African Union does not have enough budget. “The African Union needs $218 billion for deploying its troops in Darfur for the last three months and for the coming six months,” he observed. “Whereas logistic support was provided by the European Union, the US, and the African Union had no finances for the last three months to pay the forces, and now they have completely admitted their failure to control the situation in Darfur and to protect civilians who still suffer from the chaotic situation.”

Al Mahdi emphasised that the UN resolution on deployment of its forces is obviously unacceptable to the Sudanese, but it has become a necessity to enforce peace and stability, as some two million people are still living in overcrowded camps in Darfur, driven from their homes by the continuing conflict, including death threats. “The UN forces, which will be deployed in Sudan, should be neutral, governed by international rules and respect Sudanese sovereignty. He said that the government’s wrong policies have led to international intervention. Since Sudan’s independence, no foreign forces have entered the country, but currently there is no alternative.”

He called upon the Sudan government to accept international legitimacy, cooperate with the UN, and think of the interests of Darfur people. He also noted that 13 Sudanese parties are working together on a resolution to encounter a serious situation in the Sudanese political arena. They prepared in this regard social, economic and political agendas that were sent to all political parties, including the Darfur fighting movements. “Some of them have already responded positively,” he said. “Peace agreements signed between the Government of Sudan and the SPLA have not achieved their goals by sustaining peace and development in Sudan.”

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