UN council set to renew Darfur peacekeeping mandate
Amy Judd | July 31, 2008 at 12:39 pmby
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The UN Security Council is going to renew the mandate for peacekeepers in Darfur today, as the council is ready to discuss the fact that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir needs to be brought to justice for the genocide in Darfur.
Five years of war have brought humanitarian disaster to the western Sudanese region and Darfur campaigners accused the world on Thursday of failing to provide helicopters and other badly needed support for the struggling peacekeeping mission there. Western diplomats said the resolution extending the mission would likely be adopted unanimously when the council meets at 1900 GMT. Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem told Reuters it was an "acceptable" text for Khartoum. Nearly half the 15-member council had made a reference to the international court in the text a condition of renewing the peacekeeping mandate. Despite the accommodation to South Africa, Libya, Russia, China and four other council members on the court, one Western diplomat described the resolution as a "wake-up call" to the world to finally end the Darfur crisis. International experts and U.N. officials estimate at last 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million been driven from their homes in Darfur since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003 accusing central government of neglect. Khartoum blames the Western media for exaggerating the conflict and says 10,000 people have been killed.
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