Britain, France and Ghana Wednesday circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution, authorizing the deployment of a joint African Union (AU)-UN peacekeeping force of up to 26,000 troops in Sudan's Darfur region.
The draft said the proposed force, known as the United Nations-African Union mission in Darfur, or UNAMID, would consist of up to 19,555 military personnel and a civilian component of up to 3,772 police personnel and 19 formed police units.
It said the troops will have a "unity of command and control" and "command and control structures ... will be provided by the United Nations."
The draft stated that the contingent would be deployed for "an initial period of 12 months" in order to support the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, signed in May last year by the largest rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement, and the Sudanese government with the aim of ending the fighting in Darfur.
The text urged all parties in the region to immediately end hostilities and attacks and called on the Sudanese government and the rebel groups to hold talks in search of a political solution.
It warned that the council "will take further measures," if "the parties to the conflict in Darfur fail to fulfill their commitments or cooperate fully with this resolution." It does not give details of what these measures will be.
The draft resolution requested UN chief Ban Ki-moon to report immediately to the council on any failure by the parties to comply with this resolution.
It is still not known when the draft will be put to a vote in the 15-member Security Council.
Sudan's government agreed to support unconditionally the deployment of the hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping force in the Darfur region following talks in Khartoum with a delegation of the Security Council in June.
(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2007)