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Security Council Expected to Vote Tomorrow in Darfur August 31, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Genocide, UN, United Nations, Vote.

The Security Council is set to vote tomorrow on a draft resolution outlining the establishment within months of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s strife-torn and impoverished Darfur region.

Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana, which holds the Council presidency for August, told reporters today after consultations among Council members at UN Headquarters in New York that he expected the draft resolution would be adopted at a meeting tomorrow.

Mr. Effah-Apenteng said such a vote would not mean the Council is “shutting the door” on continued negotiations with the Sudanese Government, which has stated several times that it is opposed to any UN force taking over from the current African Union (AU) mission in Darfur.

Asked about the reference in the draft resolution to the need for consent from the Sudanese Government before any UN force can be deployed, he responded that 2 million people are currently suffering in Darfur, and “the lives of these people should weigh heavily on the minds of everybody.”

The Ghanaian ambassador also observed that the existing UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which is helping to implement the 2005 peace accord in the south of the vast country, has not “compromised the sovereignty or territorial integrity” of Sudan.

The Council has scheduled a meeting for 8 September on Darfur and invited high-level officials from the Sudanese Government, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to attend.

The draft resolution before the Council, circulated by the United Kingdom and the United States, comes amid mounting alarm at the deteriorating conditions inside Darfur, a region roughly the size of France on Sudan’s western flank that has been beset by war and massive displacement since 2003.

On Monday the UN’s top humanitarian official Jan Egeland told the Council in a closed-door briefing that “a man-made catastrophe of an unprecedented scale” looms within weeks unless the Council acts immediately to deal with the spiralling violence, looting and displacement.

Mr. Egeland, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said “we could see hundreds of thousands of deaths” if aid operations – already at grave risk because of rising numbers of attacks against individual workers, dramatically reduced access to those in need, and massive funding shortfalls – collapse.

Source: United Nations

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