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Concern welcomes United Nations resolution to send peacekeepers to Darfur

Concern Worldwide welcomes the unanimously adopted United Nations Security Council resolution to send peacekeepers to Darfur.

Up to 26,000 troops and police will make up the world's largest peacekeeping force under a joint UN and African Union mandate. This force will replace the 7,000 strong African Union contingent in Darfur by the end of the year and will operate under a stronger mandate, including the right to use force to protect civilians and assist in the delivery of relief supplies.

Welcome response

Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern, said, “The force of 26,000 peacekeepers is a positive development which will provide vital security to civilians and aid workers in the region. It is critical that this force is deployed as soon as possible and that UN member states provide the necessary resources for this to happen. The fact that the government of Sudan has welcomed the Security Council decision and has said it will fully co-operate with the deployment of the force is also welcome”

Mr Arnold continued, “The UN resolution also stresses the urgency of a ceasefire and of re-starting peace talks between the government and the rebel groups. This conflict can only be resolved through a political process and the international community has a responsibility to help this process.

Finally, I hope that the adoption of the UN resolution will lead to a renewed focus on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur. That focus has to be on the two and a half million people in the camps. But it is also vital that more attention is paid to the security of humanitarian aid workers who are critical to delivering the aid.”

Concern’s work

Since 2004, Concern has been providing humanitarian relief in Darfur to thousands of civilians who fled their homes as a result of the fighting.  The UN has reported that at least 200,000 people have died since fighting broke out in 2003 in what is often referred to as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.