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Ban Unveils Revised Proposal on Hybrid Operation in Darfur
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unveiled on Wednesday his revised report on the hybrid UN-African Union (AU) mission in Darfur.

In a letter dated June 5 transmitting the report to the president of the Security Council, Ban said during the discussion of the AU-UN report on the hybrid operation in Darfur, he indicated that the AU had requested some additional clarifications and revisions to the text.

Based on further consultations with the chairperson of the AU Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, those adjustments have been reflected in the new text, Ban said in the letter.

Konare is taking appropriate steps to submit the report to the members of the AU Peace and Security Council, he added.

Compared with the old text, the new report reiterated past AU-UN agreements and relevant UN documents, saying, "It was agreed that backstopping and command and control structures for the hybrid operation will be provided by the UN."

The new text also deleted a sentence stating that "given the Security Council's primary responsibility for authorizing and the United Nations direct responsibility for implementing the mandate of the operation."

But it still seeks "further clarity" on the UN's role in command and control and on financial matters as required by UN troop-contributing countries and UN financial bodies.

By adopting a presidential statement on May 24, the 15-member council endorsed the original report submitted by the UN chief detailing the mandate and structure of the proposed hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping force.

Last Friday after briefing the council, Ban told reporters that it was "unfortunate" that the AU came back with some changes after the Security Council had adopted and issued a presidential statement.

He said he would work with his AU partners to "have clarifications on some elements of the draft."

The UN, the AU and Sudan agreed in last November on a three-stage package to strengthen the 7,000-strong AU force which has been deployed in the region but has been unable to stop the conflict there.

With the first phase already in place, the Sudanese government gave the nod to the second "heavy support package" phase on April 16.

The revised AU-UN joint proposal, which sets out details of the third phase, will have to be approved by the UN Security Council and the AU's Peace and Security Committee.

(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2007)

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