Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 6 Sep 2006:
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) will meet 18 September at ministerial level in New York to review the situation in the war- wracked Darfur region of western Sudan, an official of the PSC said here Monday.
AU Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinnit said the transition of the African peacekeeping force into a UN operation will feature high on the agenda.
Djinnit was speaking to journalists at the end of a meeting of the PSC, apparently convened at the request of the government of Sudan in view of the UN Security Council decision last Thursday to expand the mandate of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to include Darfur region.
"Till such time the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) remains in place to do its work as it has been doing," Djinnit said.
According to the Commissioner, Sudan`s Charge d`Affaires in Addis Ababa, El Tayeb Ahmed, had on behalf of his government asked the AU to state its position on the UN Security Council resolution and the transition issue.
"Sudan was expecting the AU to clarify its position on the issue of transition before it considers its own position on what needs to be done based on their own national considerations," Djinnit explained.
Without elaboration, however, Djinnit said that the PSC recalled its previous decision on the matter.
He said the AU expected all the parties, including the government of Sudan and other stakeholders in the Darfur situation to cooperate with the AMIS and to refrain from any movement and action that could jeopardize the Darfur Peace Agreement as well as the security of the AU mission.
"The PSC encouraged all initiatives to strengthen the morale of our mission on the ground, which is faced with increasing challenges in view of its limited strength and resources," Djinnit added.