El Fashir, Darfur: (15/8/2008): UNAMID (United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur) Commander, Martin Luther Agwa told reporters it will take weeks to deploy more peacekeepers to Darfur even once reinforcements arrive because of the difficulties of operating in the remote Region of western Sudan.
He was speaking as a contingent of Ethiopian engineers arrived in El Fashir, the capital of Northern Darfur.
Their job will be to install water and electricity supplies in Kulbus and Silea in West Darfur.
Only 9,900 of the 26,000 soldiers and police in the U.N.-African Union Force has been deployed and the target of getting 80 percent on the ground by the end of the year looks increasingly unlikely to be met.
The slow arrival of peacekeepers has been blamed on both Sudanese Delays and U.N. bureaucracy.
The Ethiopians follow the induction of a 335-strong Egyptian Engineering Company, which will be based at the Mission’s Headquarters in El-Fasher.
The U.N.-African Union mission is supposed to protect civilians but the Absence of a peace deal in Darfur makes its task even more difficult. At full strength it should be the world’s largest U.N.-funded peacekeeping mission.