SUDAN WATCH: European Commission Welcomes the Imminent Darfur Peace Deal and Announces Euro 100M Aid Package

Thursday, May 04, 2006

European Commission Welcomes the Imminent Darfur Peace Deal and Announces Euro 100M Aid Package

The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, praised today the efforts of negotiating parties in Abuja as the Darfur peace talks are reaching conclusion, and announced a euro 100M package covering humanitarian and immediate recovery needs for the region, PR Newswire reported May 4, 2006 - copy:

"This agreement will be a real progress on the way towards a peaceful and prosperous Sudan and I wish to congratulate the African Union negotiators and the parties for their determination in achieving the agreement which should be signed soon. It will then be our joint challenge to rapidly bring the concrete peace dividends and consolidate peace on the ground," said Mr. Michel.

Since the beginning of the Darfur crisis, the European Commission has provided close to euro 400M in humanitarian aid and support to AMIS (the AU mission in Sudan).

The Commission will continue to meet its responsibilities as a major donor during the post-crisis recovery. Commissioner Michel said: "We are impatient to turn our efforts towards rehabilitation and development of Darfur, with the involvement of all the afflicted populations of the region. We will also maintain our humanitarian effort as long as the vulnerable people need it. In coordination with the international community, we are putting together a euro 100M package covering humanitarian and immediate recovery needs for the region."

Security on the ground remains a major concern as increasing violence in recent weeks has been affecting civilians and humanitarian workers likewise. Commissioner Michel called on the Government of Sudan and rebel movements to respect their commitments and ensure the safety of the population. He also stressed the importance of ensuring immediate, safe and full access for humanitarian workers to bring aid to those in need. He urged all parties to collaborate on the smooth transition from AMIS to the UN peace-keeping mission.

The current AMIS mandate expires on 30 September. The UN forces will then take over from the AU mission. In the meantime, the Commission continues to provide support to AMIS.

SOURCE Delegation of the European Commission to the U.S. Web Site: http://www.eurunion.org/ EUROPA

[via Coalition for Darfur with thanks]

Konare, Solana, Louis Michel in Brussels

Photo: Alpha Oumar Konare, Javier Solana and Louis Michel address a joint news conference after discussing the situation in Sudan, in Brussels March 8, 2006. (Reuters) via Sudan Tribune (Sudan Watch archive)

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