Region | Sudan

Sudan approves of Darfur UN force

Sudan on Wednesday described a UN Security Council Resolution to deploy 26,000 UN and African Union troops and police to Darfur as "practical" and said it would cooperate fully with the deployment of the force.

  • Agencies
  • Published: 13:03 August 1, 2007
  • Gulf News

Khartoum: Sudan on Wednesday described a UN Security Council Resolution to deploy 26,000 UN and African Union troops and police to Darfur as "practical" and said it would cooperate fully with the deployment of the force.

The joint operation, which was authorised on Tuesday to use force to protect civilians and the world's largest aid operation, will cost $2 billion in its first year and take over from the struggling African Union force in Sudan's remote west.

"It is practical. It's taken into consideration most of our concerns -- we are comfortable with the resolution," Foreign Minister Lam Akol told Reuters.

"We can live with it," he said, adding the government had no problems with the timetable of deployment, which is expected to take up to a year to get the entire force in place.

"Now that we have been part of the discussion we will definitely cooperate with it," he added.

Akol was referring to negotiations which eventually removed the threat of sanctions if Sudan failed to comply.

The UN resolution authorises up to 19,555 military personnel and 6,432 civilian police, which if deployed would be the world's largest peacekeeping force.

The resolution invokes Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, under which the United Nations can authorize force. The measure allows the use of force for self-defence, to ensure the free movement of humanitarian workers and to protect civilians under attack, but acknowledges Sudan's sovereignty.

But it has been watered down several times and no longer allows the new force to seize and dispose of illegal arms, saying it can only monitor such weapons.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who conducted months of talks with Khartoum, described the unanimously approved resolution as "historic and unprecedented" and said the mission would "make a clear and positive difference".

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