SUDAN WATCH: US, UK government statements on AMIS Donor Conference

Thursday, July 20, 2006

US, UK government statements on AMIS Donor Conference

July 19 2006 US Department of State press release via ReliefWeb, excerpt:
United States commits $116 million at Sudan donors conference: The United States maintains a strong partnership with the African Union on the Darfur issue, and we commend the efforts of the AMIS peacekeepers and their leaders. Conference participants expressed broad agreement that the transition of the AMIS to a United Nations Mission should go forward as soon as possible. They universally called for all parties in Sudan to respect the cease-fire agreements and to halt all hostilities.
July 19 2006 UK government statement on African Union Mission in Sudan: Donor conference, Brussels:
The British Government is gravely concerned at the tragic situation in Darfur. It is playing an active part in the response to the political, military and humanitarian dimensions of the crisis. Britain has provided over GBP 126 million in humanitarian assistance since September 2003, and continues to support the peace process in every way it can.

The African Union has played the leading international role in Darfur. The troops and civilian police of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) are playing a vital role in easing the suffering of the people of Darfur. The Darfur Peace Agreement provides the only basis for lasting peace in Darfur. Its signature at Abuja in May was a tribute to the African Union mediation. AMIS is critical to the success of the Darfur Peace Agreement and has already reduced large-scale violence and increased security where it operates.

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development, said:

"AMIS has done an impressive job in very difficult circumstances. The UK is proud to support the AU in its first major peace keeping operation. Today we are confirming our additional commitment of GBP 20 million, bringing our total financial support to AMIS to GBP 52 million. This support, together with the welcome contribution from others, will enable AMIS to continue its vital operations as it prepares to hand over to the UN."

Lord Triesman, Foreign Office Minister for Africa, said:

"AMIS' record in Darfur has been impressive. We are extremely grateful to them for what they have done. However the Darfur Peace Agreement has led to AMIS having substantial new tasks added to its mandate, which the AU itself recognises a UN force is best placed to implement. The UN will be able to deploy a larger force which will have a much better chance of preventing future violence, and prevent more people being forced to leave their homes. The United Nations, the African Union and Sudan's international partners all want AMIS to hand over to a UN force. I urge President Bashir to accept this."

Notes to Editors

1. The AMIS Donors'' Conference is an international conference hosted jointly by the African Union and the European Union being held in Brussels on 18 July.

2. Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for International Development, announced the contribution of GBP 20 million additional funding for AMIS during a visit to Sudan in 21-23 February 2006. This brings the total UK contribution to GBP 52 million. The UK will work with AMIS to ensure that the additional funding is put to the best use.

3. The UK was the first donor to AMIS in 2004, and has continued to play a leading role since then. UK assistance to AMIS has already provided 1,000 vehicles, help with airlifting AU troops into and out of Darfur, and funding ground fuel. We have provided civilian police as part of the EU supporting action to AMIS in Darfur, which has contributed significant technical expertise and training, and we have provided military experts. The UK has also provided training for AU troops deploying to Darfur.

4. The UK is also expanding its Khartoum-based Police Training and Development Programme into Darfur to train over 400 officers across Darfur. It has also put forward a proposal to assist the AU in readying itself for its role in the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration process which will help former rebels return to normal society.

For further information, contact 020 7023 0600, e-mail pressoffice@dfid.gov.uk or call our Public Enquiries Point on 0845 300 4100. - via ReliefWeb
July 20 2006 New funding for AMIS keeps it afloat until Sept. What then?

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