Darfur Consortium calls for additional forces in Darfur

Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- The Darfur Consortium, a coalition of more than 50 human rights and civil society organisations, Monday called for "additional peacekeeping forces in Darfur", western Sudan, said a release issued by the coalition and made available to PANA.
The world leaders "had urgent need to reinforce their support to the courageous soldiers of the United Nations and the African Union Mission in Darfur (MINUAD), said the consortium.
"Only 9,000 soldiers of the 26,000 projected total were deployed in Darfur," the Darfur Consortium stated, adding that the lack of troops, as well as the "lack of helicopters, armoured vehicles, prevented the Blue Helmets deployed in Darfur from leaving their positions on the ground to be trained by the United Nations.
" According to the consortium, the force was unable to ensure its own protection and the civil populations.
"People from Darfur deserve more than rhetorical speeches and non honoured promises," said the release, recalling that a year ago, the Security Council "decided unanimously to protect populations in Darfur, the strongest and biggest protecting force never deployed.
" The coalition of NGO's attributed this failure to "the Sudanese government who rejected several troops offer, yet vital" and donors, who had not provided sufficient equipment.
It also blamed the United Nations and the African Union for taking a lot of time to deploy troops, who thought that MINUAD itself "should have acted more proactively on the ground.
" The world leaders had to ensure that equipments promised to peacekeeping soldiers were available and the Sudanese government had fully to cooperate without delay, added the release.
"Certainly, MINUAD could not resist heavy fights," but, "it could more protect civilians, mainly women," said the Darfur Consortium, adding that since five years, people from Darfur had been calling for protection against all forms of violence.

09 september 2008 16:55:00




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