African Union: Peacekeepers in Darfur until Jan.

September 20, 2006 21:59

The African Union announced Wednesday it will extend the mandate of peacekeeping forces in Darfur through the end of the year, ensuring that international troops will remain in the war-torn Sudanese province for now. The United Nations will provide material and logistic support to the mission, though Sudan is still resisting demands that the UN take over the mission from the AU, said Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, head of the AU Peace and Security Council. The decision was made in a morning meeting of the AU body also attended by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. When al-Bashir left about halfway through, he withheld comment except to shout "No!" when a reporter asked if he would allow the UN to take control of the peacekeepers. An underfunded African Union force in Darfur has been largely unable to stop the violence in Darfur. Both the AU and the UN Security Council have called for the UN, with its deeper pockets and better resources, to run the mission.

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