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UN should be hesitant on Darfur mission: Peacekeeping chief.

Jumy 24, 2008 (LONDON) — The UN Security Council has "good reasons" to be unsure about sending large numbers of peacekeepers to Sudan's Darfur region, its outgoing head of peacekeeping said in an interview published Thursday. Speaking to the Financial Times, Jean-Marie Guehenno said the United Nations had reached the "outer limit" of its peacekeeping capacity, and noted that a single failure in a peacekeeping mission could damage all such initiatives. "I would say very bluntly that there are good reasons to be hesitant," Guehenno told the business daily. He said that, at present, "there is not enough of a political process (in Darfur) for a peacekeeping operation to be really successful." "The danger is that you go do something and then, if you go into a failure, you compromise an instrument that could make a real difference in other places," he said. "And so you haven't helped really those you meant to help but you have done a disservice to all those where peacekeeping could make a real difference." Guehenno said that while he acknowledged "the enormous plight of the people in Darfur," the United Nations was "reaching the outer limit of peacekeeping." "The Security Council faces tough decisions and it is not easy to say 'no'. But it should never say 'yes' for the wrong reasons." The UN says that up to 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million have fled their homes since the Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003. Sudan says 10,000 have been killed. It began when African ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime and state-backed Arab militias, fighting for resources and power in one of the most remote and deprived places on earth. Since African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission UNAMID took over from a small African Union force on December 31, only 7,600 troops and 1,500 police have been deployed. That is barely a third of the projected total of 19,500 soldiers and 6,500 policemen. (AFP)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Jul 28, 2008
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