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Indonesian peacekeeping unit arrives In Darfur.

October 14, 2008 (EL FASHER) -- Indonesian police officers arrived in El Fasher, North Darfur, on Sunday to join the UN-African Union hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) as a formed police unit. The peacekeeping mission stated Tuesday that the contingent consists of 140 officers, although the UN News Center reported that only 130 officers arrived.

In a photograph made available by Albany Associates, newly arrived engineers from Egypt deployed to serve with the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) peacekeeping operation in Sudan's remote, war-wracked western region, stand to attention 24 July 2008 (AFP)

The Indonesian police unit arrived via a special UN flight from Jakarta. Formed Police Units (FPU) are a force of police officers specially trained to operate in high-risk security environments. The UNAMID mandate, which was issued by the UN Security Council, calls for 3,772 police officers and 19 formed police units, only two of which have been deployed, including the Bangladeshi unit deployed earlier this year. Hocine Medili, the peacekeeping mission's deputy joint special representative, operations and management, welcomed the Indonesian contingent during a ceremony attended by UNAMID Police Commissioner Michael Fryer and other senior UNAMID police officers and officials. "Before your deployment, we had Bangladeshi formed police units (FPUs) who have been in Nyala since November 2007. Your 140-strong contingent has increased UNAMID total FPU on the ground and will assist in restoring security and protection of civilians," he said. Medili mentioned that he had worked with Indonesian troops in the UN mission in Cambodia and was proud of their services. The next day, Medili travelled on a one-day working visit to Umm Kadada, a town to the east of the capital of North Darfur, El Fasher. Medili inspected the readiness of the team site in preparation for the incoming troop's arrival from Egypt. The Egyptian infantry battalion is expected to join the UNAMID operation in Darfur at the end of October, according to UNAMID. An Egyptian transport Company is also expected to arrive at the same time and will be based in Nyala, Sector South. Medili was accompanied by the Egyptian officer in charge of deployment, a UNAMID military planning officer and the mission's chief engineer. In July, the U.N. Security Council renewed the peace mission despite a raging debate over whether it should invoke its power to suspend the International Criminal Court's efforts to prosecute President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir on genocide and war crimes charges. Last Tuesday October 7, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he has delayed his goal of putting 22,000 of the authorized 26,000 troops on the ground by the end of this year. The African Union-United Nations hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) currently numbers about 10,000. Ban said he hopes to reach 17,000 by January and the 22,000 mark around March. The Darfur conflict began in early 2003. U.N. experts estimate more than 300,000 were killed and 2 million have been driven from their homes by the conflict in Darfur, a region that is roughly the size of France. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Oct 17, 2008
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