The African Union has warned that its operation in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region is at risk because it is running out of money. The AU is currently in the process of boosting the size of its peacekeeping force to more than 10,000 and Sudan’s leaders have pledged to support a wider AU presence.
But the AU’s peace and security commissioner, Said Djinnit, says he is not sure how the mission will continue: “The financial support remains precarious. There have been commitments, but the commitments are not enough for the African Union to sustain its mission till the end of December.”
Sudan is under international pressure to allow 20,000 UN troops to deploy in Darfur to replace the African forces. However, Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has repeatedly rejected the idea, describing the UN contingent as an invasion force bent on regime change in Khartoum. Some 200,000 people have died in Darfur and two million made homeless, with pro-government militias accused of genocide.