KHARTOUM, Nov 21 (AFP) — The United Nations will deploy thousands of troops in southern Sudan after an expected signing of a final peace accord by the Khartoum government and the southern rebel movement, a UN official said.
|Sudanese men living in Kenya as refugees stage a demonstration to encourage the Sudan peace process outside the UN complex in Nairobi, Kenya. (AFP).|
"The UN will deploy thousands, probably 7,000 troops from different countries in south Sudan a month after the final peace deal is signed" by the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), the UN special envoy Jan Pronk told reporters in Khartoum.
He said that the troops would be deployed by the end of the year to "monitor respect by the two parties for the peace agreement."
Pronk’s comments come just days after the Khartoum government and the rebels pledged in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to sign a final accord ending the two-decade war in southern Sudan by the end of the year.
The final phase of ending the conflict in the south "has now begun in an atmosphere of hope and optimism after peace has come in sight, thanks to the desire, cooperation and sincerity of the two negotiating parties and their ability of overcoming many obstacles."
"Reaching a peace agreement is not a difficult job, said Pronk, noting that the remaining controversial issues "can be surmounted if a true desire is shown by the two parties."