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ADF Contribution to Sudan

Wednesday, 20 April 2005
059/2005

ADF CONTRIBUTION TO SUDAN

The Howard Government has approved the deployment of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel to a new United Nations peacekeeping operation in Sudan.

Approval has been given to deploy 15 personnel to the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) for an initial period of 12 months, Defence Minister Robert Hill and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer announced today.

Senator Hill said the contribution forms part of the Government's response to the humanitarian situation in Sudan, and has been made at the request of the UN.

"Australia is a long-standing and regular contributor to United Nations-sanctioned military operations," Senator Hill said.

"ADF personnel will make a positive contribution to improve stability and peace in Sudan, and more widely in Africa, through their participation in the UNMIS Peacekeeping Force.

"The contribution will include air movements, logistic support and military observers and will deploy when called forward by the United Nations."

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said UNMIS will also play a major role in supporting the African Union's mission (AMIS) in Darfur.

"The Government warmly welcomes the decision of the Security Council to establish UNMIS, as well as taking a range of related actions to secure the peace in Sudan and to end the violence in Darfur," Mr Downer said.

"The contribution demonstrates Australia's continuing concern to ensure that the resolution of the Sudan and Darfur conflicts remain high priorities on the international agenda, although the primary obligation for peace in Sudan continues to lie with the parties involved."

The UN Security Council authorised the establishment of UNMIS on 24 March 2005 under Resolution 1590, after the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end a civil war lasting more than 20 years.

ENDS

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