Press Releases

    27 May 2005

    Secretary-General Says International Community Presents “United Front” in Darfur, after Generous Offers of Support for African Union Mission

    NEW YORK, 26 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s concluding statement to the pledging conference co-chaired by the African Union and the United Nations in support of the African Union Mission in Sudan, in Addis Ababa, 26 May:

    Let me say at the outset how very encouraged we are (my co-chairperson and myself) by the expressions of support for the African Union Mission in the Sudan which we have heard today and by the determination of all those who spoke to provide the assistance required by the Mission while pursuing efforts to alleviate the plight of the affected populations in Darfur and to find a political solution to the conflict.  One of you said that the African Union is not alone and indeed the international community has presented today a fully united front.

    At the same time, we all understand and have reaffirmed the leadership of the African Union in restoring peace in Darfur, through both their peacekeeping and mediation efforts.

    We are of the same view:  AMIS’ achievements are already considerable, and where it is present, there has been a marked reduction in violence.  It is also clear that the situation on the ground is still intolerable in many parts of the region, as agreements continue to be disregarded.  There is no doubt that the Mission, which is over-stretched, must be expanded.

    In this regard, the Chairperson and I have taken note of the generous offers of support that you have made today.  I would like to echo the view expressed by a number of you that your contributions must be complementary if they are to be fully effective.  There have been a number of proposals to provide AMIS with strategic airlift, training and planning support, all essential elements of the expansion.

    At the same time, assistance to AMIS must cover the full range of needs described in detail this morning, in particular requirements for mobility within Darfur, especially through tactical airlift.  The forthcoming technical meetings between the AU and partners must agree upon a rational and transparent division of labour, through existing coordination mechanisms, enhancing them if required.

    While the importance of AMIS in stabilizing the situation and restoring normalcy to life in Darfur cannot be overstated, it is also clear that there is no military solution to the conflict.  Resolution of the conflict will only come through a successful mediation process. I wholeheartedly welcome the announcement by Chairperson Konaré that Salim Ahmed Salim will lead this process and that talks will resume on the 10th of June.  This conference makes it clear that the international community expects the parties to go to Abuja where they must reach a conclusive agreement.  The Navaisha process has provided a road map which could be the basis of a peace agreement in Darfur as it is for the rest of Sudan.

    Let me reiterate that the United Nations stands ready to continue to offer all assistance necessary in collaboration with partners to ensure that the AU’s courageous undertaking meets with success.

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