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UN resolution undermines sustainable peace in Darfur – rebel leader

Aug 31, 2006 (PARIS) — A Darfur rebel group leader criticised the draft resolution debated in UN Security Council, he said it undermines the right of Darfur people for political solution and for a sustainable peace in Darfur.

Khalil Ibrahim of JEM

The chairperson of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Khalil Ibrahim told Radio France Internationale, that this Draft resolution “tries to impose unacceptable peace of Abuja while Darfur people reject this agreement.

The UN Security Council was set to vote Thursday on a proposal to deploy a robust UN force in Sudan’s Darfur region with the expectation of Khartoum’s consent, with co-sponsors confident of securing overwhelming support.

The draft text calls for a 17,000-strong UN force to take over from the ill-equipped and underfunded African Union (AU) mission, which has been unable to prevent killings, rape and the internal displacement of civilians in Darfur.

Khalil Ibrahim, who rejected to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) last May, considers priority must be to find an agreement over the demands of the Darfur holdout rebels groups constituting the majority in the troubled region.

“Increasing the number of the troops only will not solve the problem of Darfur, but the political solution should come first. The DPA should be reconsidered and made comprehensive and then, the international troops should come to maintain the peace process,” he said.

The latest draft allows U.N. troops to use force to protect U.N. personnel, aid workers and to prevent attacks against civilians. The troops are to collect and dispose of unauthorized weapons.

The document also sets up political, humanitarian, military and civilian police liaison officers in neighboring Chad, where Sudan refugees had fled and villagers along the Sudanese border have been evicted from their homes.