Sudan: April 28, 2005

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The first of 10,000 UN peacekeepers have begun deploying in Sudan. The UN reported that 12 Nepalese soldiers (the lead element of 225 Nepalese) had flown into Sudan aboard transport aircraft and were preparing to move to Kassala in eastern Sudan. The ceasefire between the SPLA and Sudan government continues to hold in the south. However, the Sudan government reported spillover war from Uganda. The government said the LRA (Ugandan rebel movement, the Lord's Resistance Army) had attacked convoy in south Sudan and killed nine people (two of them Sudanese soldiers). The attack took place on April 25.

Meanwhile the Sudanese government agreed to open new peace talks with Darfur rebels sometime in May. The last round of talks took place in February. Those talks solved nothing. The intermittent fighting may produce a humanitarian disaster. The World Food Program now estimates that 3.5 million people (roughly half of the population in the Darfur region) will need food aid in July and August. Moving that amount of food requires improved security as well as lots of transport aircraft and trucks. On April 26 the African Union (AU) officially asked NATO to help provide logistical support to AU peace monitoring and emergency relief operations in Darfur. NATO agreed to consider the request. The US and Germany have both provided airlift to AU troops now serving in Darfur.

 

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