Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sudan says no to peacekeeping force in Darfur

Sudan has rejected a plea by departing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a hybrid U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Annan, in a final appearance before the Security Council, urged envoys to keep pressure on Khartoum to accept a blue-helmeted peacekeeping mission.

Sudanese U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Wednesday poured cold water on Secretary General Annan's hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough in his last days in office.

Earlier, Mr. Annan briefed the council on a letter he received from Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, accepting a three-phase approach for ending the violence in Darfur. The secretary-general said he was encouraged that the three-phase plan would end with deployment of a hybrid U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur.

The Security Council has authorized a 22,000-strong blue-helmeted force to replace a badly understaffed 7,000 troops in the A.U. mission.

But Ambassador Abdalhaleem said flatly Sudan would not accept U.N. peacekeepers.

He said 'There is no blue helmet peacekeepers in Darfur. There is support, logistical support staff by the United Nations, wearing their own helmets. But they are not going to engage in peacekeeping activities.' Read more >>>

No comments: