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  Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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The European Union is considering the possibility of sending peacekeepers to Sudan's Darfur province
The European Union is considering the possibility of sending peacekeepers to Sudan's Darfur province, the European foreign policy chief said Thursday. Javier Solana welcomed Wednesday the unanimous adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolution 1769, authorizing the deployment of a UN/AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur. "This resolution is the result of intense and constructive cooperation, which I salute, between the United Nations and the African Union. I now call on all parties to work for a swift transition from the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to the Hybrid Mission. The European Union stands ready to step up its support to this end," he said. The mission will be authorized to use force to protect civilians, but not to seize illegal arms. Russia said it is determined to make an effective contribution to stabilizing the situation in Darfur. It said a key element of the resolution is "the confirmation of Sudan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as a call to all the sides in Darfur to honor a ceasefire and abandon violence." The foreign ministers of the 27 European Union member states approved last Monday sending EU peacekeepers to Chad and the Central African Republic in October to protect refugees who have fled the violence-torn desert province. The contingent is expected to total between 1,500 and 3,000 servicemen, and a final decision will be made in September. Inter-ethnic violence and disease have left between 200,000 and 400,000 dead, with 2.5 million being forced to leave since the conflict began in February 2003. The bloodshed began when African farming tribes rebelled against the government, an uprising that was brutally crushed by Arab nomad militias believed to have been backed by the central government in Khartoum. The Sudanese government denies supporting the militias, known as 'janjaweed,' which continue to attack civilians and fight farmers for land ownership.
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