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Sudan Tribune

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Egypt, Ethiopia to deploy Darfur troops in March

March 3, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — The African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC) reiterated in a meeting held last week that Egyptian and Ethiopian troops would be deployed in Sudan’s Darfur region during the current month.

Mubarak_inspectes_peacekeepers.jpgEgypt and Ethiopia will send a battalion, numbering 850 troops each, as the first batch of their contribution to the UN-AU Joint African Peacekeeping force in Darfur. Ethiopia pledged to 5000 soldiers while Egypt is expected to participate with 2100 troops.

The council in its 112th meeting held last Thursday in Addis Ababa agreed that the planned deployment of Egyptian and Ethiopian troops will take place during March 2008 within the framework of the implementation of the UNAMID early effect package.

The African body praised Sudanese government for its cooperation and urges it to continue to extend full cooperation for the implementation of the mandate of UNAMID including in the force generation in order to ensure the full deployment of UNAMID.

The meeting also urged Sudanese government and Darfur rebel groups to accept in good faith, without any precondition and further delay the start of the substantive political talks.

It further appealed to all the Sudanese parties to show flexibility, take into consideration the suffering to their people and to seek a political settlement as this is the only way to reach lasting solution in Darfur.

The council stressed the need for regional and international cooperation in the request for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Darfur and calls upon the mediation team to lead and coordinated the effort of partners to this effect.

The meeting discussed the current tension between Sudan and Chad. The AU council reiterated its appeal to the governments of Chad and Sudan to normalize their bilateral relation and to maintain to secure environment at their common border in accordance with the agreement that they have signed.