Egyptian troops arrive in Darfur

By GNA
By GNA

3/31/2009 7:29:02 PM -

The hybrid United Nations-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Darfur, known

as UNAMID, received a boost on Monday from the arrival

of 100 personnel from the second Egyptian Infantry Battalion.

Another 100 troops from the battalion are slated

to arrive on Tuesday in the strife-torn western flank

of Sudan as a meeting of the Tripartite Committee – comprising the Government of Sudan, the AU and the UN – is scheduled to take place for the first time in Darfur.

A statement from the UN Information Centre in Accra on Tuesday said Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Susana Malcorra was expected to attend the meeting in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, which will examine ways to facilitate and expedite deployment of the AU-UN peacekeeping operation in the region.

The hybrid force was set up by the UN Security Council to protect civilians in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million have been forced from their homes since fighting erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen.

More than one year on from transferring the task of suppressing the violence to UNAMID from the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), well over 12,000 of the 19,555 military personnel authorized by the Security Council are now in place across Darfur.

GNA