Sudan agrees to UN advance mission

The Sudanese parliament has agreed to allow a UN mission into Darfur, in a move that may lead to Khartoum accepting peacekeepers.

    Millions of Darfuris are homeless due to three years of fighting

    Speaking after a meeting with Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, UN'diplomat, Lakhdar Brahimi, said: "We agreed that in the coming days the United Nations and the African Union will send a joint assessment mission to Sudan."

    Earlier on Thursday, debate on the issue had turned into an unruly quarrel in Sudan's National Assembly after Lam Akol, the foreign minister, gave a statement saying Sudan should "be more flexible" about the prospect of a UN deployment to Darfur.

     

    Deputies said one member of the ruling National Congress Party, which dominates government and the assembly, called those in favour of UN troops "traitors and spies".

     

    Deng Dongrin, a member from southern Sudan, said:

    "This created a big row and the speaker was not able to control the assembly and people were shouting insults at each other."

     

     

    A member of parliament who spoke on condition of anonymity said: "There were divided views in parliament, but we are waiting for the outcome of the talks between the government and the UN."

     

    Troubleshooter 

     

    Lakhdar Brahimi reached a deal
    with al-Bashir 

    Prior to a May 5 Darfur peace deal, Sudan had rejected a UN take over from ill-equipped African Union forces in Darfur, but has since said it will negotiate with the world body over the mandate and size of a possible force in Darfur.

     

    Tens of thousands of people are said to have been killed and more than two million displaced during three years of violence in Darfur.

     

    The United States calls the violence genocide, a charge Khartoum rejects.

     

    The International Criminal Court is investigating alleged war crimes in the region.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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