Wednesday, March 21, 2007

UN.: Beef-up Darfur peacekeeping force


UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations will never accept a rejection from Sudan‘s president to a strong peacekeeping operation in Darfur because the conflict is hurting millions of people in the region, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said Monday.

Jean-Marie Guehenno briefed the U.N. Security Council U.N. Security Council on President Omar al-Bashir‘s rejection of all but a very limited role for the United Nations in supporting African Union troops in the vast area of western Sudan.

"We‘ll never take any reaction as a rejection," Guehenno said. "We can‘t afford that and the people in Darfur can‘t afford that. ... We are prepared to clarify any detail in what is on offer."

He also has raised objections to the final stage of a U.N. plan that calls for a 22,000-strong joint U.N.-AU peacekeeping mission.

Khartoum is accused of having responded with indiscriminate killings by unleashing the janjaweed militias of Arab nomads blamed for the worst atrocities in Darfur. Read more >>>

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