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Sudan urged to fully agree to Darfur plan

Sudan urged to fully agree to Darfur plan

The United States on Wednesday urged Sudan to publicly agree to the last phase of a plan to get international peacekeepers into Darfur and prodded reluctant U.N. members to contribute troops to such a mission.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Khartoum had promised cooperation with the first two phases of a U.N., African Union plan for Darfur. But it was balking at agreeing to the final phase, when the bulk of the international peacekeepers would move into war-torn western Sudan.
"There is of course a much larger phase three program that is out there on the horizon that the Sudanese have yet to agree to. And we would urge them to agree to that," McCormack said.
The first phase involves allowing a small force of U.N. and military and civilian forces into Darfur, which McCormack said Sudan seemed to be complying with. This would be followed by a larger contingent of about 2,500 troops, but so far only Bangladesh has put forward volunteers for the second phase.
Under the third phase, about 10,000 more troops would go into Darfur to form a hybrid force with African Union troops. The United Nations hopes this force will total about 17,000 soldiers.
Sudan's agreement on the final phase of the plan was even more urgent given the recent spike in violence in Darfur and mounting concern over attacks on aid workers, said McCormack.
"I think that what is required of the international community is constant, consistent pressure - diplomatic pressure - as well as constant review of whether or not the Sudanese are living up to the commitments that they said that they were going to perform on," he said.
The United States has strongly protested what it called the "appalling" recent attacks on aid workers and told Sudan's government it has an obligation to protect those trying to help people suffering in Darfur.


Updated : 2021-06-25 12:00 GMT+08:00