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UN, Sudan To Speed Deployment Of Peacekeepers

UN, Sudan To Speed Deployment Of Peacekeepers

Secretary-General, Sudan agree to speed up deployment of peacekeeping force

30 January 2008 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir have agreed on the need to accelerate the deployment of the hybrid United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) to the war-wracked Darfur region and to finalize the status-of-forces agreement for the new missions.

During a 90-minute meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Mr. Ban will address the AU summit tomorrow, Mr. Ban and Mr. al-Bashir discussed the situation in Darfur, where UNAMID is trying to quell deadly violence and human rights violations and bring a measure of stability.

UNAMID took over from an earlier AU mission to Darfur and at full deployment it is expected to have about 26,000 troops and police officers.

Mr. Ban stressed to the Sudanese President the importance of engaging with all the parties in Darfur, where at least 200,000 people have been killed since 2003 and 2.2 million others have been displaced from their homes because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied militia groups known as the Janjaweed. He also urged Mr. al-Bashir to move forward on the implementation of the commitments contained in the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA), a 2005 pact ending the separate civil war between northern and southern Sudan.

Earlier, the Secretary-General held a working lunch with AU Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konaré in which they discussed the situation in Darfur and the need to make progress on the dialogue between the various parties in the arid and impoverished region.

The two men also talked about the latest developments between Sudan and its neighbour Chad and on the most recent progress with the CPA.

Later today, Mr. Ban was due to meet separately with three African presidents: John Kufour of Ghana, Omar Bongo of Gabon and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

In a related development, this week Mr. Ban has sent a letter to the President of the Security Council to inform him that he has appointed Patrick Schneider of Germany to serve on the Panel of Experts that helps to monitor Darfur sanctions.

Mr. Schneider's appointment, through 15 October this year, places the Panel at its full strength of five members.


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