France ready to provide troops to Darfur force

1st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 1, 2007 (AFP) - France is ready to provide troops to the joint African Union-UN force in Darfur but the bulk of its members will come from African nations, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday.

PARIS, Aug 1, 2007 (AFP) - France is ready to provide troops to the joint African Union-UN force in Darfur but the bulk of its members will come from African nations, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday.

"We have offered (troops). France has offered its services," Kouchner told reporters.

"But there is a new phenomenon today, a very important one, which is that Africans are going to take their own affairs in hand. So the majority of the force will be Africans," he said.

The foreign ministry said that France would "examine possibilities for offering support, notably on the logistical front."

The UN Security Council on Tuesday passed a resolution mandating a 26,000-strong "hybrid" force to take over peacekeeping in Darfur from 7,000 ill-equipped AU troops.

France has taken a lead in pushing Darfur up the international agenda and hosted a conference on the issue in June.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said after a meeting 10 days ago that they will visit the region once the force is in place.

Kouchner said the UN resolution "bears great hope, but it must not lead us to relax our efforts."


AFP

Subject: French news

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