U.N. approves up to 26,000 troops, police for Darfur

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously authorising up to 26,000 troops and police in an effort to end attacks on millions of displaced civilians in Sudan's Darfur region.

 U.N. approves up to 26,000 troops, police for Darfur
The UN Security Council has voted unanimously authorising up to 26,000 troops and police in an effort to end attacks on millions of displaced civilians in Sudan's Darfur region.

Tuesday's resolution allows the use of force in self-defence, to ensure freedom of movement for humanitarian workers and to protect civilians under attack.

Soon afterwards, the US warned Sudan that it would face "unilateral and multilateral" sanctions if it failed to comply with the Security Council resolution.

The combined UN and African Union operation is expected to cost more than $2bn in the first year and aims to quell violence in Darfur.

The new force can no longer seize and dispose of illegal arms and will only monitor such weapons.

More than 2.1 million people have been driven into camps and an estimated 200,000 people killed in the conflict over the last four years.

Gone also is a threat of future sanctions but Gordon Brown, Britain's prime minister, warned on Tuesday that "if any party blocks progress and the killings continue, I and others will redouble our efforts to impose further sanctions".

He said on a visit to the UN headquarters in New York: "The plan for Darfur from now on is to achieve a ceasefire, including an end to aerial bombings of civilians; drive forward peace talks ... and, as peace is established, offer to begin to invest in recovery and reconstruction."

The UN resolution will authorise up to 19,555 military personnel and 6,432 civilian police and calls on member states to finalise their contributions to the new force within 30 days.

The new UN-AU Mission in Darfur, or Unamid, will enhance the ill-equipped 7,000 African Union troops currently in the region.

Rape, looting, murder and government bombardment drove millions from their homes in Darfur, where mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003, accusing Khartoum of neglecting their arid region.

The rebels have now split into a dozen groups, many fighting each other.

Agencies
Last Mod: 01 Ağustos 2007, 15:30
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