Darfur force ‘may be’ operational next year
A bolstered United Nations-African Union force charged with bringing
peace to Sudan’s ravaged Darfur region may be operational by early next
year, the head of the mission said on Wednesday.
Rodolphe Adada made the announcement at the inauguration of the new
force’s headquarters in Darfur’s main city of Al-Fasher, the day after
US President George W. Bush told the United Nations to “get moving” on
The headquarters opened three months to the day after the UN Security
Council on July 31 approved the new force of over 26,000 troops and
police, baptised UNAMID, to replace the current under-equipped AU
deployment of 7,000.
“This is a great day for UNAMID,” Adada told journalists. “Three
months ago when the Security Council voted Resolution 1769 it was an
idea and today we are a reality. Now we can begin the real work.”
“We may be operational in the beginning of the next year,” he said.
The United Nations said earlier this month it had agreed with the
African Union to accept troop contingents from 16 countries, mostly from
Africa but also from Bangladesh, Jordan, Nepal, the Netherlands,
Scandinavian countries and Thailand.
The full force is not expected to be deployed until well into 2008.