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Darfur crisis threatens the regional security - Chad

Sept 22, 2006 (UNITED NATIONS) — The continuing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis engulfing Sudan’s Darfur region threaten the security of the entire region, the Foreign Minister of Chad told the General Assembly today as he urged for the restoration of peace to Darfur as soon as possible.

Speaking on the fourth day of the Assembly’s annual debate, Ahmad Allam-Mi said his country, which borders Darfur, has had to house more than 300,000 refugees since fighting first broke out between rebel groups and Sudanese Government forces and allied militias in 2003.

The incursions of the notorious Janjaweed militias over the border have forced at least 50,000 Chadians to leave their homes, Mr. Allam-Mi said, and led to hundreds of deaths.

He said the United Nations must take over the African Union’s (AU) current peacekeeping operation in Darfur, in line with Security Council resolution 1706 that was adopted last month.

Mr. Allam-Mi said the proposed UN force of blue helmets would not infringe on Sudanese sovereignty, and would simply work to protect innocent victims of the armed conflict in Darfur.

Earlier, the Security Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) until 8 October, citing “grave concern” about the situation in Darfur. UNMIS currently operates only in the south of Sudan, helping to implement a 2004 peace deal that ended a separate civil conflict there.

(UN News)