Bulk of UN, AU peace force in Darfur soon

ADDIS ABABA - The UN and AU mission in Darfur intends to deploy 80 percent of its joint peacekeeping force there by March and the rest by June.

ADDIS ABABA - The UN and AU mission in Darfur intends to deploy 80 percent of its joint peacekeeping force there by March and the rest by June.

A senior UN official said yesterday that the mission (Unamid) took over from a smaller AU mission last year. But it is short of its promised strength of 26000 troops. Susana Malcorra, UN head of the department of field support, said it was vital that troop- contributing nations prepare their forces.

"We have achieved over 60 percent deployment," Malcorra told a meeting of UN, AU and Sudanese officials in Addis Ababa.

"It is critical that troop-contributing countries undertake the range of pre- deployment preparations as rapidly as possible," she said. - Reuters

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