KHARTOUM, Oct 26, 2004 (Xinhua) — The Sudanese National Assembly (parliament) approved on Tuesday the expansion of the African Union (AU) mission to its troubled western region of Darfur.
|Sudan’s Parliament Speaker Ahmad Ibrahim al-Taher|
The lawmakers made the decision after listening to a statement delivered by Foreign Minister Mustafa Othman Ismail on the issue, the official Omdurman Radio reported.
Ismail told the parliament that this choice is the best among all proposals.
"The AU mission would be assigned to a duty of monitoring the ceasefire breaches by either side, building confidence between the conflicting sides, monitoring aid flowing to the needy people in Darfur, providing good conditions to stop hostilities between all sides as well as creating chances for development," said Ismail.
The AU which is sponsoring peace talks between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebels announced this week that it was set to boost the number of truce-monitoring troops in Darfur sevenfold to 3,320.
Some 150 AU ceasefire monitors are in Darfur along with more than 300 troops to protect them.
The observers said they were overwhelmed by reports of breaches of the ceasefire.
The expanded mission will comprise over 3,000 personnel who are expected to be deployed in camps and to monitor Sudanese police.