SUDAN WATCH: Joint UN-AU assessment team to visit Darfur within days, UN envoy says

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Joint UN-AU assessment team to visit Darfur within days, UN envoy says

Further to reports today by Reuters, Bloomberg, Associated Press, BBC and UPI noted here earlier, a report by UN News Centre, just in, confirms:

Joint UN-AU assessment team to visit Darfur within days, UN envoy says:
The mission would undertake an assessment of all the requirements for a possible transition to the UN from the 7,000-strong peacekeeping AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS). AMIS itself would have to be strengthened immediately, he [Brahimi] said, since it would bear the initial responsibility of helping to implement the Darfur Peace Agreement signed earlier this month.

The proposed assessment team would return to Khartoum for one more round of consultations, he said, before reporting to Mr. Annan and AU Commission chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare.

In talks that were useful to the UN and may also have been useful to Sudan, he said: "I reassured my interlocutors that the intention of the United Nations was to help them and the people of Darfur successfully implement the agreement signed in Abuja (Nigeria) on 5 May, by using all the resources at its disposal."

This would mean adding, as an extension of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) in South Sudan, a multi-dimensional presence in Darfur, including humanitarian assistance, human rights observers and support for voluntary returns and longer-term recovery, as well as security, he said.

He pointed out that that was exactly what was happening in South Sudan where military, police and civilian personnel have been directly involved in implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in January of last year.

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