16:45, March 10, 2008
Liu Guijin, the special representative of the Chinese government on Darfur issue, said at a press conference on March 7, or last Friday, that several leading technical problems have been resolved on the issue concerning the UN-African Union Darfur peacekeeping force. However, he noted, no relevant media reports have been available, and he hoped that any occurrences in Sudan should be covered truthfully and objectively in the future.
For a period of time, the mixed UN-AU Darfur peacekeeping force in Sudan has met with difficulties, which some international media put blames on the Sudanese government indiscriminatingly while turning a deaf ear to the progress made through the positive cooperation between the Sudanese government and the international community.
Sudan has agreed to give the UN-AU Darfur peacekeeping force freedom of movement and communications. The actual situations are as follows: First, on February 9, Deng Alor, the Sudanese Foreign Minister, and Rodolph Adada, the UN-AU Joint Special Representative for Darfur, signed in a ceremony in Khartoum the Status of Forces Agreement, setting out the legal framework for the mission to operate in Sudan.
At first, the Sudanese government had reservations about granting the mixed UN-AU Darfur peacekeeping force the same conditions as to the AU peacekeepers. But this problem was overcome via consultations of the international community and particularly through consultations among the AU, the UN and the Sudanese government.
Second, consensus has basically been reached on the flight right of the UN-AU Darfur peacekeeping force at night thanks to the UN-AU-the Sudanese government consultations. The night flight right originates in the poor airfield facilities instead of the reluctance of the Sudanese government to grant such a right
Third, the three sides have resolved in the main the issue on the selection of incampment sites for peacekeepers, which in fact belong to ethnic tribes rather than to the Sudanese government. When the agreement was reached with the relevant ethnic tribes, the issue was settled too.
The fourth, the issue of customs clearance for containerized traffic has been resolved, as the amendment to the relevant rules on goods and materials by the Sudanese customs for the movement of UN-AU peacekeeping forces pose no problems for the customs clearance and, fifth, the issue with passports and visas for mixed UN-AU peacekeeping personnel have also been resolved.
Moreover, some problems are yet to be tackled with the deployment of the mixed UN-AU peacekeeping force. And the biggest problem represents a shortage of 24 helicopters to serve as an aerial prop or support. To one’s dismay, not a single major Western power has so far offered a helping hand. The work to deploy the mixed UN-AU Darfur peacekeeping force has been pressing ahead nevertheless.
It represents a truth that the humanitarian disaster has occurred in the Darfur region of Sudan over recent years; it represent a truth the international community has pressed ahead with the mixed UN-AU Darfur Peacekeeping mission deployment and political settlement process, and obtained positive progress in this regard; and the highly internalized Darfur issue cannot be resolved overnight and this is also a truth. So, in the final analysis, the Darfur issue has absolutely not been created by China, and this is definitely an unshakable truth.
Finally, in the course of settling these issues, it is imperative not only to step up the consultations and cooperation of the Sudanese government, the leading party concerned, with the international community, but to get other parties to truly understand the concerns of Sudan for its territories and state sovereignty and see and affirm efforts the Sudanese government has made during the process of cooperation with the international community for settling the regional issue.
Nevertheless, a few certain strong global media has kept silent or "discreet" on positive progress the Sudanese government has made toward the Sudan’s deployment of the UN-AU Darfur peacekeeping force on one hand and, on the other hand, they are bent on linking the Darfur issue with Beijing’s summer Olympic Games.Because of the inertia of prejudice, people often tend to be hoodwinked. One of the dreadful consequences provoked by prejudices is to distort facts and make such distortions of facts poles apart with the sincere efforts made by the international community for the proper settlement of the Darfur issue.
By People’s Daily Online and its author is Wen Xian