UN extends Sudan mission

The UN Security Council has voted to extend an advance political mission in Sudan for a week, hoping that a US-drafted resolution on peacekeepers and sanctions would be adopted by then.

    The world body is seeking to restore peace in Sudan

    The thrust of the draft resolution, under negotiation for nearly a month, is to authorise a 10,000-member UN peacekeeping force in southern Sudan.

    The troops would monitor a landmark peace accord in January that ended a 21-year old civil war between southern rebels and the Khartoum government.
       
    In Darfur, the measure would impose a partial flight ban as well as a travel and assets freeze on perpetrators of atrocities, those who jeopardise the peace process and those who violate the flight ban. 

    Differences
       
    But diplomats say differences have not yet been resolved on sanctions and on referring human rights abusers to an international court. More than 70,000 people have been killed in Darfur and some 2 million have been driven out of their homes.

    Nearly 2 million people have been
    displaced by the Darfur conflict

    "I don't think we have consensus on the resolution," said Stuart Holliday, a senior US envoy. "We are still discussing ways of addressing members' concerns, but I think we believe that we do have support for those measures."
       
    However, Holliday said "there is a certain point where you have to stand to make sure that the resolution retains its effectiveness". 

    He said the council on Thursday had adopted only a technical resolution that extends the UN mission for a week.
       
    He stressed that the resolution called on the Khartoum government to stop all offensive military flights, which have intimidated and frightened Darfurians, who say militia attacks on civilians often follow.
       
    But Russia, China and Algeria oppose the sanctions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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