UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Tuesday that he is to
visit Darfur next week with a three-part strategy for that
Ban told reporters at a press conference at the UN Headquarters
in New York that he will travel next week to Sudan, Chad and Libya,
ahead of the deployment of some 26,000 UN-African Union forces as
agreed by the UN Security Council last month, with purpose of
seeing for himself "the very difficult conditions" under which the
largest-ever UN peacekeeping operation will be carried out.
He stressed that he wanted to know first-hand the plight that
Darfurians are experiencing and to also try to strengthen momentum
towards a lasting political resolution so that the violence and
suffering can end.
"I want to create the foundations of a lasting peace and
security," the UN chief said. "My goal is to lock in the progress
we have made so far."
Meanwhile, Ban outlined a three-part strategy to deal with the
Darfur crisis by ensuring that peacekeepers are deployed quickly
and effectively, humanitarian aid and development is more easily
available and the peace process pushes forward.
Detailing his three-part strategy for Darfur, the
secretary-general said that the deployment of the new hybrid force,
which is to be known as UNAMID, will require a massive logistical
effort, especially in providing adequate communications, water,
food, supplies and infrastructure for the mission.
"This is one of the largest and most complex field operations
the United Nations has ever undertaken, together with the African
Union, and the work is well under way. But it cannot succeed
without the cooperation of the government of Sudan," Ban said,
adding he would seek its full support when he meets with President
Omar al-Bashir in the capital, Khartoum, during the trip.
However, he pointed out that "peacekeeping, alone, is not
enough. It must be accompanied by a political solution."
Ban further explained that his aim during the trip was to
maintain the recent momentum among the parties for talks "with a
view toward issuing invitations to a full-fledged peace conference
by the end of summer."
The Secretary-General added that no political solution would
work in the long run unless the region on Sudan's western flank
enjoys sustained economic development.
"There must be money for new roads and communications, as well
as health, education, sanitation and social reconstruction
programs," he claimed, issuing the call to the international
community to help the Sudanese government to organize these
Aside from Sudan, Ban is visiting Libya, where he said its leader
Muammar Gaddafi has been a key regional player in trying to bring
some of the Darfur parties to the negotiations table.
He will afterwards travel to Chad, where the Security Council
indicated Monday it was willing to authorize a multidimensional UN
presence to support a European Union force in the east of the
country and in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The UN chief also announced that an international meeting on
Darfur, a follow-up to the Paris meeting in June, will be convened
on Sep. 21 in New York. The meeting is to be hosted by the United
Nations and the African Union, he added.
(Xinhua News Agency August 29, 2007)