News / Africa

    UN Renews Darfur Force, Cuts Troops

    UNAMID peacekeeper Sergent Kindu Tarekegn, from Adigrat, Ethiopia, escorts a family that is returning home after farming outside Gereida, South Darfur, July 25, 2012.
    UNAMID peacekeeper Sergent Kindu Tarekegn, from Adigrat, Ethiopia, escorts a family that is returning home after farming outside Gereida, South Darfur, July 25, 2012.
    Larry Freund
    NEW YORK — The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday extended the mandate for the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan's Darfur region, but the Council voted to reduce the number of U.N. troops and police in Darfur.  

    The Security Council resolution extends the Darfur peacekeeping operation for a sixth year, but during the next 12 to 18 months reduces the number of troops from 19,000 to 16,200.  The council also voted to cut the number of U.N. police in Darfur from about 3,700 to about 2,300.

    In a recent report, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the U.N. operation in Darfur, known as UNAMID, continues to contribute to the protection of civilians and facilitate the delivery of aid to vulnerable populations.  Ban said that in the years since the deployment of the mission, the security situation in Darfur has improved.

    The Security Council resolution was approved by 14 of the council’s 15 members with Azerbaijan abstaining.  The country’s ambassador said that the council’s discussions on the resolution had not been sufficiently open.

    Guatemala’s representative, Gert Rosenthal - who voted in favor of the resolution - objected to the inclusion of a paragraph asking the UNAMID peacekeepers to share information about the Lord’s Resistance Army.  The rebel group, formed in Uganda during the late 1980s, has moved its activities into neighboring states.

    Rosenthal said he had serious reservations about that paragraph.

    “The objective information from the secretariat of this organization does not provide a basis for believing that there is an involvement of the Lord’s Resistance Army in the zone covered by UNAMID,” he said.

    Sudan’s ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, also objected to the reference to the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, saying that there was no reference in the resolution to anti-Sudanese rebel groups that, he said, are based in South Sudan.

    ”Is that logical?  We will continue to work with UNAMID within its traditional mandate,"  Osman said.  "We have strong reservations regarding inclusion of LRA and we will monitor the situation.”

    British ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters that the reference in the Security Council resolution to the Lord’s Resistance Army does not change the mandate of the UNAMID peacekeepers.

    “We have exactly the same objective as the government of Sudan, which is that the LRA should play no role whatsoever and should be completely absent from Darfur,” he said.

    Lyall Grant added that there is no evidence of LRA activity in Sudan.  He also said the Security Council is concerned about the Sudanese government’s restrictions on the movement and operations of UNAMID peacekeepers and humanitarian agencies, and called on the government to lift the restrictions immediately.

    UNAMID was established in 2007 with the primary mission of protecting civilians.  Rebels in Darfur have been fighting the Sudanese government since 2003.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora