African Union Rejects Asian Troops for Darfur

Claims African countries can supply all 26,000
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2007 3:47 AM CDT
Two Chinese U.N peacekeepers, watch a 155mm artillery canon from the French U.N peacekeeper units fire a shell, as part of a live ammunition exercise at the coastal town of Naqoura, in southern Lebanon,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Asian troops promised by the United Nations for a joint peacekeeping force in Darfur won't be needed, the leaders of the African Union said yesterday; African countries  will supply all 26,000 peacekeepers, the BBC reports. But critics doubt that enough trained African soldiers are available for an effective force, and that they will be sufficiently independent of the Sudanese government to stop the violence. 

Sudan had agreed to the joint UN and AU force only reluctantly, arguing that non-African forces would threaten the country's sovereignty. UN officials had promised that its troops for the peacekeeping force would be "predominantly African," but recently published a list of Asian countries—including Indonesia, Pakistan and Nepal—that had promised to contribute personnel. The AU already has 7,000 troops posted in Darfur.