UN-AU peacekeepers in Darfur now number 12,374 -- UN

New York- US (PANA) -- The UN announced that 12,374 peacekeepers had so far been deployed to the UN-AU hybrid force in Sudan's Darfur region.
PANA reports that the peacekeeping force, known as UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAM ID), is expected to have 26,000 troops, police and civilian personnel at full de p loyment.
"The United Nations is pleased to confirm that 12,374 uniformed personnel have b een deployed to UNAMID, representing 63 per cent of the mission's authorised military strength of 19,555 personnel,'' the organis ation said in a statement Thursday to mark one year of the hybrid force operatio n in Darfur.
It said that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the efforts of the t roops-contributing countries "in reaching this target in the face of serious difficulties, including the volatile security situation i n Darfur''.
It said that Ban noted the cooperation of the Sudanese government in achieving t his level of deployment, while also stressing the need for the continuation of t h e cooperation.
The UN, however, stated that, "to ensure that the mission continues to grow and reach full strength, troops- and-police-contributing countries would have to wor k together with the United Nations to expedite the deployment of all outstanding c apabilities''.
It also called on member states to step up efforts to provide the shortfall in t roops, helicopters and other logistic support to enable the force to ensure peac e and security in the war-torn region.
It also quoted the UN chief as calling on the international community to commit themselves to the volatile region, in order to counter the escalating threat to p eace and security.
UNAMID was set up by the UN Security Council in 2007 to protect civilians in Dar fur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.
7 million d isplaced from their homes following fighting between rebels, government forces a n d allied militiamen, known as the Janjaweed, in 2003.
Nigeria's Gen.
Martin Agwai is the force commander and the Chairman of the Darfu r Ceasefire Commission.
PANA recalls that Ban had recently warned that clashes between the warring facti ons in Darfur were threatening the UN-AU peacekeeping mission and humanitarian w o rk in the Sudanese region.
He urged all parties to end hostilities and work towards a comprehensive politic al solution in the region.

01 january 2009 16:32:00




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