May 8, 2007 / 7:46 PM / 11 years ago

Congo's Adada to head Darfur peacekeeping mission

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Congo’s Foreign Minister Rodolphe Adada will head a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s devastated Darfur region, which has been resisted by the Sudanese government.

The appointment of Adada, who has been Congo’s foreign minister since 1997, was announced in a statement on Tuesday by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the AU commission chairman, Alpha Oumar Konare.

The U.N. Security Council last year adopted a resolution to deploy a “hybrid” U.N.-African Union force of more than 20,000 in Darfur, western Sudan. So far Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has agreed only to deployment of 3,000 U.N. police and military to aid the African Union force of 7,000 troops.

At least 200,000 people have been killed and 2.3 million made homeless in the Darfur conflict among African rebel groups, the Arab-dominated government and militia who back it.

Ban is also expected to appoint a European, not yet named, as his special envoy for the U.N. Mission in Sudan, known as UNMIS, which oversees 10,000 peacekeepers helping to enforce a peace pact in southern Sudan after decades of civil war.

UNMIS has been without a chief of mission since Khartoum expelled Dutchman Jan Pronk last October.

The U.N. Security Council last month extended UNMIS until October 31, although the United States had wanted only a three month extension, mainly to keep pressure on Sudan to approve the larger “hybrid” AU-U.N. peacekeeping force for Darfur.

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