A Swiss officer is leading a team in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, to provide security for United Nations peacekeeping soldiers in south of the country.This content was published on April 25, 2005 - 10:00
Colonel Jacques Baud took up his office, which is scheduled to last for 12 months, on Monday.
Baud is currently responsible for peacekeeping operations in the Swiss foreign ministry, which delegated him to Sudan.
His 20-man team is responsible for analysing the situation in Sudan and for the security of the UN mission.
"We can all still remember the attack on the UN headquarters in [the Iraqi capital] Baghdad in August 2003," said Baud. Twenty-one people died in that attack, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The team will not only focus on the political development of the entire country, but also liaise with civil and military authorities and aid organisations.
Baud said the situation in the western Sudanese region of Darfur will also be monitored.
Baud will work directly under Jan Pronk, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s deputy.
The UN is to deploy 10,000 peacekeepers to southern Sudan. They will monitor the peace treaty signed in January between the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
The UN General Assembly last week approved a budget of $595 million (SFr705 million) for the one-year mission.
More than 1.5 million people have so far died in the 21-year civil war in southern Sudan. Another 4 million have been driven away.
As part of January’s peace treaty, government and rebels agreed a sharing of power in addition to a division of oil deposits.
In April, Switzerland pledged $75 million in aid to Sudan over the next three years.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) announced that the government was also willing to reconsider debts owed to it by Sudan, but only if this could be done within an international framework.
swissinfo with agencies
The latest UN mission in southern Sudan will cost around $595 million (SFr705 million) for the first year.
10,000 UN peacekeepers are ensuring the government and rebels adhere to the peace treaty.
In January the two sides agreed to share power and divide the oil deposits.