South African Troops To Remain In Sudan

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PRETORIA, South Africa, Aug. 4 (UPI) — South Africa will continue to maintain its troop deployment in Sudan’s contested Darfur’s province.

South African Ambassador to the United Nations Baso Sangqu said he hoped the action would help the people of Darfur “move rapidly toward peace.”

U.N. Resolution 2003 was accepted by the membership, extending the mandate of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur for 12 months.

“Every effort must be employed to ensure that peace and stability is advanced,” Sangqu said in a South Africa’s BuaNews agency report Thursday.

Last month Sangqu expressed Pretoria’s disappointment that the situation in Darfur hasn’t improved and civilians continue to be subjected to attack.

“South Africa continues to support a comprehensive approach toward the resolution of the conflict in Darfur, including the political, security, humanitarian and judicial tracks,” he said.

“Only progress in all these fronts will secure sustainable peace for the people of Darfur as they are subjected to persecution, abuses and violations of fundamental human rights,” further urging the Sudanese government to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court.

On July 12 the ICC issued an arrest warrant for President Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for genocide committed in Darfur, in the wake of an earlier March 2009 ICC warrant issued for Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

On 29 July the U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the UNAMID peacekeeping force in Darfur for a further year “while welcoming the intention of the secretary-general and the (African Union) to review the number uniformed personnel required for effectiveness.”

The resolution also emphasized “the need for UNAMID to make full use of its mandate and capabilities to protect civilians across Darfu,” along with as stressing “the importance of promoting the AU-U.N.-led peace and political process for Darfur, and welcomed the priority given to UNAMID’s continuing efforts to support and complement the peace initiative.”

The Security Council voted 15-0 for a resolution to create an “enabling environment” for the Darfur peace process.

Those involved remain skeptical of the United Nations’ ultimate intentions, with Sangqu observing that giving the Security Council a “veto” over UNAMID’s participation in the Darfur Peace Process “undermined the African Union.”

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