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Now They Tell Us

By Orville Schell, Michael Massing

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Sudan Signals Acceptance of U.N. Peacekeepers

Posted on Apr 16, 2007

The Sudanese government has indicated to the United Nations Security Council that it will allow a second phase of U.N. peacekeepers to deploy, retreating from the long-held position that such a force would compromise its sovereignty. However, Khartoum has a history of reneging on promises to the U.N.

New York Times:

Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has repeatedly defied United Nations requests and pressure from governments elsewhere in Africa and around the world to permit international intervention in Darfur, saying such action would violate his country’s sovereignty.

But today [Monday], Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem, sent a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the 15 member nations of the Security Council saying Sudan would now accept what is known as the “heavy support package” and hoped it would “proceed expeditiously.”

The package calls for sending 3,000 well-equipped military police officers along with six attack helicopters and other aviation and logistics support to Darfur. The step represents the second stage of a much-delayed three-stage proposal whose ultimate aim is to create a 21,000-troop joint African Union-United Nations force to replace the 7,000-soldier African Union force there now.

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