17 May 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes African Union Communiqué, Security Council Resolution Aimed at Accelerating Dispatch of United Nations Force in Darfur

NEW YORK, 16 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the communiqué of the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting held in Addis Ababa on 15 May 2006.  He was pleased that the meeting adopted a forward-looking agenda for war-affected Darfur that emphasized immediate measures to address the crisis.  He is also pleased by the decision of the Commission to take concrete steps to bring about the transition from the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) to a United Nations peacekeeping operation.  The United Nations is continuing to prepare for that operation so that it can begin as early as possible, as called for in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1679, whose adoption today the Secretary-General also welcomes.

The United Nations will continue to support AMIS, including through efforts to mobilize the international community to strengthen the African Union Mission in the interim period before a United Nations operation.  The United Nations also hopes to dispatch, as quickly as possible, a joint United Nations/African Union technical assessment team to Darfur and, towards that end, is in continuous consultation with the Government of National Unity.

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