France welcomes the agreement reached on 20 June by the Sudanese authorities under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr. Meles Zenawi, and the Highlevel Panel chaired by President Mbeki. This agreement should allow for the withdrawal of the troops of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army, the return of civilians and the opening of the path to determining the status of Abyei. France would like to thank Ethiopia for making a seasoned contingent available.
The mandate for force provided for in the resolution that we have just adopted corresponds to
France’s main expectations for the United Nations mission in Abyei. In particular, we welcome the fact that the mandate is robust and that the resolution calls upon the parties to facilitate the return of displaced persons and requires follow-up to human rights issues.
While recognizing the urgency posed by the tragic conditions on the ground and the imminent independence of Southern Sudan, France would like to recall, given the numerous peacekeeping missions that will succeed the United Nations Mission in the Sudan, the need for coherent comprehensive action by the United Nations in the Sudan.
On this occasion, France would like to recognize the need to have an overall vision, both for coordinating the missions and for determining the total strength of the peacekeeping operations. In this context, the size of the United Nations mission that will be deployed in Southern Sudan should be consistent with the progressive takeover by the South of the competencies of a State.