British Govt statement on the Sudanese Govt's decision to agree to a UN Technical Assessment Mission for Darfur
The Government of Sudan today agreed to allow a joint African Union/United Nations Technical Assessment Mission to travel to Darfur as soon as possible. The Mission is a necessary step in preparing the way for a UN force for Darfur. Their decision came during a visit to Khartoum by Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General.
The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said:
"I welcome the agreement reached between the UN and the Sudanese government to allow the joint African Union/United Nations Technical Assessment Mission. They will now begin preparations for the UN to take over the peacekeeping operation from the African Union. As I agreed with President Konare, this should begin as soon as possible."
Lord Triesman, FCO Minister for Africa, said:
"This is a welcome decision. Both the UN Security Council and the African Union's Peace and Security Council have called for a UN force for Darfur. It needs to deploy as quickly as possible. The Government of Sudan now needs to sustain its support of the UN as it continues its preparations to deploy."
Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development, said:
"The Darfur Peace Agreement signed in Abuja on 5 May is an important step towards peace for Darfur. Stabilising security in Darfur is crucial if the agreement is to succeed. A UN force will build on the achievements already made by AMIS, who we will continue to support during this transition period."