Nytt

Sudan har endelig gått med på en blandet African Union og FN-styrke i Darfur. Men når støvlene er på bakken er et annet spørsmål. Tidligst neste år, tror BBC. USA er skeptisk til Khartoums reelle vilje.

Sudan on Tuesday accepted a revised plan for a joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping force of between 17,000 to 19,000 troops in Darfur, a senior African Union official said.

African Union, United Nations and Sudanese officials held a two-day meeting to discuss a force whose deployment would mark the final phase of a three-stage UN plan to bolster a poorly equipped and underfunded force of 7,000 AU peacekeepers, which has been unable to end four years of death and destruction in Darfur.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir agreed to the package in November, but stalled acceptance of the first two phases and has since backtracked on his approval.

‘Hybrid’ force

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Monday that al-Bashir told him he fully agreed to the proposed »hybrid» force but was adamant that all of the troops must come from Africa.

»In view of the explanation and clarification provided by the AU and the UN as contained in the presentation, the government of Sudan accepted the joint proposals on the hybrid operation,» said Said Djinnit, the African Union’s top peace and security official.

The decisions made on Tuesday still have to be approved by the United Nations Security Council and the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, Djinnit added.

USA uttrykte skepsis til Sudans reelle vilje.

But US officials remained sceptical over the deal.

Sean McCormack, US State Department spokesman, said: «President Bashir has made promises before about accepting an AU/UN hybrid force, but there’s always the fine print».

Map of Darfur region

Mapping the crisis

He said it would be difficult to get enough troops to go to Darfur because «the assets simply aren’t there».

«So, to say that the force would be limited to only African troops is, in effect, to say that you are not agreeing to the full 17,000 to 19,000 troops,» he said.

More than 200,000 people have died in the four-year conflict and around two million have fled to refugee camps.

The AU and UN presented their revised peacekeeping plan at talks in Addis Ababa. The new plan has been created to get round the objections of the Sudanese government, which does not want a solely UN force, which it says would be like a Western invasion of their country.

«In view of the explanation and clarification provided by the AU and the UN as contained in the presentation, the government of Sudan accepted the joint proposals on the hybrid operation,» AP news agency quotes Said Djinnit, the AU’s top peace and security official, as saying.

Sudan agrees to joint force for Darfur

Sudan accepts joint Darfur force