Sudan: Security Council studies assessment report ahead of meeting on Darfur

Sudan: Security Council studies assessment report ahead of meeting on Darfur

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The Security Council's 15 members have received a United Nations report assessing the latest developments in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan, a day before the senior UN envoy to the country briefs them on what progress Khartoum has made on its pledges to restore security there and disarm the militias accused of brutal attacks.

UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters today at UN Headquarters that the report, which examines implementation of the Council's latest resolution on Sudan, has been circulated to the members - but not officially made public - ahead of tomorrow's open meeting on Darfur.

At Thursday's meeting Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, will brief the Council on the situation in Darfur following his visit last week to the troubled region.

More than 1.2 million people are internally displaced within Darfur and another 200,000 Sudanese live as refugees in Chad because of attacks by the Janjaweed militias and fighting between the Government and two rebel groups.

On 30 July the Council adopted Resolution 1556, which stated it may take action against Khartoum under Article 41 of the UN Charter if the authorities do not show after 30 days that they are fulfilling earlier promises to the UN to disarm the Janjaweed and restore security.

Article 41 measures include unspecified economic penalties and the severing of diplomatic relations. The Council's 30-day deadline expired on Monday.

Speaking outside the Council, which is holding consultations today, Sudanese Ambassador Elfatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa told journalists his Government was “on the right track” and had done “lots of things” to improve the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur.

Ambassador Erwa said Khartoum has no problem with more African Union (AU) troops being deployed to monitor the ceasefire in Darfur, but added that the situation would be “complicated” if the AU troops were mandated to disarm the parties.

He said that only the peace talks currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria, between Khartoum and the two rebel groups will solve the political problems in Darfur.

In other developments on Sudan:

The World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for $12 million to expand a special feeding programme for malnourished refugees living in camps in eastern Chad. The agency said the effort will target children under five as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers.Violent clashes continue to be reported in Darfur's three states, and most internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain reluctant to return to their home villages, Radhia Achouri, a spokesperson for Mr. Pronk, told reporters in Khartoum.Regarding the separate civil war in the south of Africa's largest nation, the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) agreed during peace talks being held in Naivasha, Kenya, to extend their current ceasefire until 30 November.