UN: Months needed to deploy Darfur peacekeepers

Deploying a 26,000-strong peacekeeping force in conflict-wracked Darfur will take many more months, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, citing growing insecurity and logistical difficulties. As of July 31, the force had just over 8,100 military personnel and fewer than 1,900 police on the ground. Ban said that even when the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force is fully deployed, the only way to end the five-year conflict would be through political talks and a peace agreement. The secretary-general said in a report to the Security Council circulated Friday that the success of a new mediator would depend on the will of the parties to resolve the conflict through dialogue.