UNITED NATIONS - Britain and Ghana circulated a draft resolution Wednesday
authorizing a 26,000-strong UN-African Union peacekeeping force for Sudan's
Darfur region. The measure also threatened to take steps against those
obstructing peace efforts.
The draft resolution, obtained by
The Associated Press, states that there will be a single chain of command for
the "hybrid" force, provided by the United Nations, a move that would clear up
the contentious issue of who will be in charge.
A child's hand grasps barbed wire at Abu Shouk camp, located
7km north-west of Al-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, in 2006.
UN peacekeeping chief Jean-Marie Guehenno indicated last month that the
Sudanese government had accepted that the United Nations would have overall
operational control while day-to-day operations would be in the hands of its
African commanders. But many Security Council members wanted that spelled out
clearly in a resolution.
The draft states that the hybrid operation, to be known as UNAMID, will have
up to 19,555 military personnel, including 360 military observers and liaison
officers, a civilian component including up to 3,772 international police, and
19 special police units with up to 2,660 officers.
It demands that all parties in Darfur "immediately cease hostilities and
attacks" on the AU force, civilians and humanitarian workers. It also emphasizes
that "there can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur and calls upon
the government of Sudan and the rebel groups to enter into talks" to reach a
The four-year conflict between ethnic African rebels and pro-government
janjaweed militia in Sudan's vast western region has killed more than 200,000
people and displaced 2.5 million. A beleaguered 7,000-member African Union force
has been unable to stop the fighting.
The UN and Western governments have pressed Sudan since November to accept a
UN plan for a joint force to replace the poorly equipped and underfunded AU
In April, Sudan agreed to a "heavy support package" to strengthen the AU
force, including 3,000 UN troops, police and civilian personnel along with
aircraft and other equipment.
The draft resolution calls on all parties to urgently work for the full
deployment of the heavy support package and an earlier light support package,
and to finalize contributions to the hybrid force within 30 days of the
Guehenno has said he hopes the heavy support package can be in Darfur in the
coming months so that by the end of year deployment of the hybrid force can
The draft resolution asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report to the
council in three months on progress - and obstacles - to deploying the light and
heavy support packages, to implementing a UN-Sudan agreement to speed up
humanitarian assistance, and to promoting a political settlement, among other
The draft stresses that "in the event the parties to the conflict in Darfur
fail to fulfill their commitments or cooperate fully with this resolution" or
previous resolutions "the council, drawing on the above reports, will take
It does not state what these measures could be, but
further measures often refers to sanctions.