Home | News    Wednesday 29 October 2008

UN Chief says South Sudan peacekeepers require 600 more troops

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By Daniel Van Oudenaren

October 28, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – The United Nations Secretary General reported Tuesday that the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) requires 600 more troops, which will be deployed to Abyei, Kadugli and Juba, and one existing company will move to El Obeid.

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UN peacekeepers from Bangladesh work in Juba, Sudan (Reuters).

UNMIS was established in 2005 to support a peace deal between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, ending a 22-year civil war. The mission is distinct from the joint African Union – United Nations hybrid peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

The additional forces, if deployed, will bring UNMIS military force strength to 9,975 troops. The mission is mandated to have up to 10,000 military personnel and 715 civilian police personnel.

The secretary general noted that two UN departments reviewed UNMIS military capabilities in August and recommended deploying six additional companies to Sudan.

The Department of Peacekeeping and the Department of Field Support suggested that one existing company should move from Damazin in Blue Nile state to El Obeid in Northern Kordofan.

The Damazin battalion would be reduced to three companies, but the redeployment to El Obeid represents part of an effort to improve security on a crucial supply line for humanitarian and peacekeeping equipment moving to Darfur. The company will protect the El Obeid logistics base, said the secretary general’s report.

The UN under-secretary-general for field support, Susana Malcorra, on Tuesday told the Security Council, “there are approximately 6000 sea containers full of equipment required by UNAMID and bound for Darfur which are currently at the United Nations logistical hub in El Obeid. Which is, as you may know, in central Sudan. That is to say that these containers are 800 km from El Fasher—800 km of dirt track and narrow roads which are virtually impassable for large trucks during the rainy season which ended only last month.”

She added, “we have been making progress. Four new transport companies have recently been brought online to increase the movement of containers out of El Obeid and into Darfur. This is in addition to an airbridge which we are putting in place to lift high priority equipment directly from El Obeid into Darfur.”

On Oct. 13 UNAMID police undertook their eigth convoy from El Obeid to Darfur, travelling in 35 vehicles. As with previous convoys in June, this most recent reported convoy was part of a UNAMID Police confidence-building strategy to establish contacts with the local population along the route as well as develop better working relations with the local police, according to the peacekeeping mission.

The secretary general’s recommendations for additional forces were based on an assessment of the threat of potential conflict along the north-south border, near which SPLA and government forces clashed in Abyei in May, and along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Despite the request for additional forces, the Secretary General assessed that “the security situation in the UNMIS area of operations improved during the reporting period. In Abyei the situation stabilized as implementation of the Abyei Road Map Agreement continued.”

In contrast to a foreboding report on the Kordofan area issued last week by International Crisis Group, the Secretary General said that “in Southern Kordofan, the reporting period saw a decline in reports of inter-ethnic violence. The July nomad migration season ended peacefully, and the parties’ agreement to open closed areas in the Nuba Mountains gave further grounds for optimism.”

Nevertheless, the UN’s August study recommended deploying three of the additional six companies to Kadugli in Kordofan. One additional company is recommended for Juba, and two for Abyei, with an armored personnel carrier platoon for force protection.

The secretary general observed, “the lack of mutual trust and confidence between NCP and SPLM remains the main challenge for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This lack of trust consequently permeates into all major pending benchmarks set under the Agreement.

(ST)

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  • 29 October 2008 09:15, by Mabor Yiel

    " Recommend more additional UNMIS forces to replace the UN forces who are already in Abyei Area. There is lack of transparency between UNMIS forces and the citizens of Abyei at all because of the recent clashes between SAF and SPLA which broke out in May.

    I think and believe that the UN mission to Sudan was mandated to protect civilians from oppression by other party who engaged and put its signature in the CPA which was signed in Naivasha Kenya by 2005, January. But there is conspiracy and incompetency in this mission carried out by some elements who does not want Sudan to be in peace, but in pieces.

    Sudanese need to see peace prevail in all corners of Sudan. Then let’s those who does not want peace to come to Sudan pack their luggage and leave peacefully.

    By: Mabor Yiel.

    " Integrity is bringing who you are to what you do....!

    repondre message

  • 30 October 2008 13:27, by Daniel DENG

    UN should speed up on this,such that we can grantee the implementaion of Abyi road mam..It ’s time for our brothers,sisters,fathers in Abyi to enjoy peace like their brothers.This must be the top priority...

    repondre message

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