UN to Leave Sudan From July 10 as Clashes Threaten Civilians
The United Nations Mission in Sudan will start winding down on July 10, a day after the south is declared independent, even as clashes force thousands of civilians to flee in Southern Kordofan state, the head of UN peacekeeping said.
“UNMIS will have no mandate in Southern Kordofan, at a time when there is a very dire humanitarian situation and still fighting is going on,” Alain LeRoy told reporters today in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti informed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that the UN’s 10,000-member peacekeeping mission will end when the south becomes independent on July 9, state-run SUNA reported May 28. Ban has proposed having a 7,000- member peacekeeping force in Southern Sudan after independence.
Clashes between Sudanese government forces and troops loyal to Southern Sudan’s army in Southern Kordofan have forced more than 73,000 people to flee their homes since June 5, according to the UN. The fighting there and in the disputed border region of Abyei raised concern about the possible resumption of a two- decade civil war that ended in 2005.
The UN, which currently has about 5,868 peacekeepers in Southern Sudan, will start operating a new mission in the south the same day the mission in the north comes to an end, LeRoy said. The UN Security Council in New York will discuss the mandate of the south’s mission tomorrow, he said.
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