به تقاضای اتحادیه آفریقا وزیر دفاع طرح اعزام نیرو به سودان جهت نظارت بر آتش بس را به کابینه می برد.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Sudanese refugees have suffered from the war in the country
June 11, 2004, 20:24
Cabinet is to be asked to approve an African Union request to South Africa to send military observers to monitor a ceasefire in Sudan. Sam Mkhwanazi, the defence spokesperson, said the AU requested 10 observers from South Africa earlier this month. The request was forwarded by way of the department of foreign affairs and the Presidency.
Mkhwanazi said Mosiuoa Lekota, the defence minister, would be taking the request to Cabinet soon.
In the meantime, the SA National Defence Force has identified personnel who could be tasked as military observers should Cabinet approve. Lekota earlier this week mooted the deployment of peace keepers to Sudan, where the AU this week set up a headquarters from where it would monitor a ceasefire between Darfur rebels and Khartoum government troops as well as allied militiamen known as the Janjawi.
The fighting, that started in January last year, has so far claimed around 10 000 lives and rendered over a million people refugees, mostly inside Sudan but also in neighbouring Chad. The United Nations has described the conflict as the world's worst current humanitarian crisis.
Reports say the observer force will muster around 120 and would include teams from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Namibia. South Africa already has peace keepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi and observers in Uganda, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
The ceasefire the AU team is to monitor is separate from a peace deal struck at the weekend ending a long-running civil war between Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army led by John Garang. He is currently touring southern Sudan to explain a series of accords he has signed over the last two years with the government to end more than two decades of devastating civil war.