Magazine article The Christian Century

African Churches Want UN Troops in Darfur

Magazine article The Christian Century

African Churches Want UN Troops in Darfur

Article excerpt

Following the signing in Nigeria of a peace agreement between Sudan's government and Darfur's biggest rebel group, Africa's largest grouping of churches urged that UN peacekeepers step in for duties now carried out by African Union (AU) troops.

"It is our fervent prayer that efforts will continue to get the remaining rebel groups on board with the peace plans to ensure a lasting peace to the three-year conflict," the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) said in a May 8 statement after the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the government signed the agreement.

The Nairobi-based church grouping said it remained concerned that two smaller rebel groups rejected the accord signed May 5 for the troubled western region of Africa's biggest country in one of this century's most debilitating conflicts. The Darfur conflict has seen mainly black Africans from Darfur becoming refugees after conflicts involving mainly northern Arabs.

Following the accord, the AACC urged Sudan to allow UN peacekeepers to take over from the AU troops--about 7,000--saying a much more robust mediating presence is required for the Darfur region, which is about the size of France. …

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