UN Security Council delegation to visit six African nations
A UN Security Council delegation will visit
Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast beginning this weekend to apprise the situation there, it was announced Friday.
The delegation, comprised of all 15 council members, will leave on its 10-day trip on Saturday for the first stop in Djibouti. Most of the countries to be visited have UN peacekeeping missions, in particular Sudan, which has a 10,000-strong mission monitoring the comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between Khartoum and southern Sudan.
A 30,000-strong peacekeeping operation is being deployed to try to end the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. Sudan and Chad have been bickering over their disputed border and Sudan-backed rebels fighting in Chad.
"On Somalia, what we hope to be doing is take the resolution up to another level, and I believe it's possible," said South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, who will co-chair the delegation with British Ambassador John Sawers.
The UN council recently decided to move the UN political mission in Somalia from Nairobi to a city in Somalia so it can prepare the possible first deployment of peacekeeping operation.
Sawers said the delegation will focus on the CPA, visit southern Sudan, and El Fasher in Darfur where the UN peacekeepers have established headquarters for activities in Darfur.
"Obviously, we will be urging all the parties to engage constructively in Darfur in the peace process there and all the various tracks on the Sudan's policy," Sawers said.
"We'll be reiterating the council's conviction that the reduction of tensions between Sudan and Chad is essential for lasting regional security and we'll be calling on both to abide by their mutual agreements," he said.
The UN is also heavily engaged in the peace processes in the Congo and Ivory Coast, dpa reported.