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Indonesian Police Unit Joins UN Darfur Force

Indonesian Police Unit Arrives To Boost Efforts Of UN-African Union Darfur Force

New York, Oct 13 2008 11:10AM

A group of 130 officers from the Indonesian Formed Police Unit (FPU) has arrived in Darfur to strengthen the efforts of the joint United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force working to quell the violence in the strife-torn Sudanese region. The Indonesian contingent will be based in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur and headquarters of the joint force, known as UNAMID, which has been lacking troops and police, as well as key assets, since it was deployed at the start of this year.

FPUs are comprised of police officers who have received specialized training in high-risk operations. The Indonesian unit is only the second FPU, along with the Bangladeshi unit deployed earlier this year – in the region out of the 19 such contingents recommended for UNAMID. The new unit has arrived at a crucial time, UNAMID Deputy Police Commissioner for Operations, Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, said yesterday, noting that its services are especially needed to support the work of the UNAMID Police, particularly in providing security to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.

“The success of this mission will largely depend on your specialized training. I have no doubt that you have the ability to cope with the challenging environment in Darfur and will deliver your services to the people of Darfur,” he told the unit upon their arrival.

Security for Darfur’s IDPs was among the issues raised during Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy’s visit to the region last week.

During a stop in El Fasher, representatives from three IDP camps requested Mr. Le Roy to boost the presence of UNAMID in and around the camps to ensure the security and protection of civilians.

Some 2.7 million people have been displaced and 300,000 killed across Darfur, where rebels have been fighting Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen since 2003.

Mr. Le Roy reassured them that UNAMID is taking measures to address their concerns, including plans to deploy at least another 4,500 troops by the end of this year. This would bring the total deployment level to about 65 per cent of the envisioned 26,000 troops and police.

The UN peacekeeping chief is still in Sudan, where yesterday he met with government officials in the capital, Khartoum, and reviewed the deployment of UNAMID. “Both the Government of Sudan and the United Nations are committed to accelerate the deployment of UNAMID,” Mr. Le Roy told reporters afterwards.

He welcomed last week’s tripartite meeting in Khartoum between the Government, the UN and the AU, which he said would speed up deployment of the force in the coming weeks and months.

Mr. Le Roy noted that the security situation in Darfur had improved recently but that there were still serious concerns about banditry and potential clashes.

The political process offered the only means to achieve peace, he stressed, adding that the Joint AU/UN Chief Mediator Djibril Bassole is working hard to engage the main actors in order to reach a framework agreement. He also welcomed the Qatari initiative in support of the Chief Mediator’s work.

Mr. Le Roy and Sudanese officials also discussed the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) – the 2005 peace deal which ended the 21-year north-south civil war.

ENDS

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