Saturday, May 26, 2007

Darfur- UN Council endorses plans for large Darfur force

Flurry of events around Darfur:

The UN Security Council endorsed a plan for a Darfur Peacekeeping force of more than 23,000 troops and police. 'The proposals, from the United Nations and the African Union, have two troop options: one with 19,500, composed of 18 infantry battalions, and another with 17,605, with 15 infantry battalions. Police would include 3,772 officers and perhaps an additional 2,500 policemen to establish a local police force in refugee camps... One of the main tasks is to provide security to the tens of thousands living in camps and patrol humanitarian supply routes and "where necessary escort humanitarian convoys," which have been attacked regularly by armed groups and militia, the document said.

The UNSC session had to reconvene for when US Ambassador Khalilzad read the wrong statement on the Sudan the first time round. The erroneous statement was a hard-hitting denunciation of Sudanese aerial bombardment in Darfur

The EU released 40 million euros in financing for the AU peacekeeping force.

Finally, the AU has nominated a Nigerian General to lead the Darfur peacekeeping force. '"General Agwai will serve first as the force commander of the African Union Mission in the Sudan and ultimately as the Force Commander for the AU-U.N. hybrid operation," the African Union said in a statement seen by Reuters on Thursday.'