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Annan Welcomes Sudan’s Acceptance Of UN Help

Annan Welcomes Sudan’s Acceptance Of UN Help For African Union Mission In Darfur

New York, Oct 6 2006 5:00PM

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the Sudanese Government’s positive response to the United Nations’ move last month to enhance its support of the African Union mission as it tries to maintain peace and security across the war-torn Darfur region.

His welcome came as the Security Council voted today to extend the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) until the end of April 2007, expressing “grave concern” over Darfur’s deteriorating humanitarian situation.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan noted he had received a letter from Sudanese President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir in which Khartoum voiced acceptance of the assistance package.

Mr. Annan “very much hopes that the proposed support package can be implemented expeditiously, in consultation with the African Union (AU) and with the full cooperation of the Government of Sudan,” the statement said.

“The Secretary-General also welcomes the expressed readiness of the Government of Sudan to pursue its dialogue with the United Nations in the interest of an early and lasting resolution of the Darfur crisis.”

The UN has pledged to provide support to the AU in logistics, materials and with military staff and police officers, while also offering civilian support in mine action, public information and the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA).

Last month the AU voted to extend its mission in Darfur, known as AMIS, until the end of the year after the Sudanese Government stated repeatedly that it was opposed to any UN peacekeeping force taking over AMIS’ responsibilities.

The Security Council’s vote today to extend UNMIS’ mandate was unanimous, with the resolution urging all parties to the Darfur conflict to end the violence and atrocities.

As many as 400,000 people have been killed and another 3 million people displaced since 2003, when fighting broke out in Darfur – an impoverished region the size of France on Sudan’s western flank – between Government forces, allied militias and rebel groups.

Today UNMIS said it has heard that one driver was killed when a convoy of eight commercial trucks carrying UN relief items was attacked two days ago by two armed men in the state of North Darfur.

In West Darfur, UNMIS has received reports of 41 recent cases of gender-based violence in five camps, while almost 1,600 people have just joined a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Seisabane in South Darfur.

The Council resolution, however, also noted the improving humanitarian situation in southern Sudan, where UNMIS is working to implement a peace deal that ended a separate long-running conflict.


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