22 September 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes Extension of African Union Mission's Darfur Mandate

NEW YORK, 21 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the extension, by the African Union Peace and Security Council, of the mandate of the African Union Mission in the Sudan until 31 December 2006.  The Secretary-General also welcomes the support expressed by the Peace and Security Council for United Nations efforts to strengthen the African Union Mission, and notes that the United Nations will move forward urgently to assist the African Union Mission in the areas of logistical and material support, military staff support and advisory support to civilian police, as well as civilian support in the areas of mine action, public information and implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.  The Secretary-General also stresses that additional funding for the African Union Mission in the Sudan is urgently required for it to function effectively for the duration of its new mandate.

The Secretary-General emphasizes that the continued presence of a strong African Union Mission in Darfur has an important role to play in protecting civilians and improving a deteriorating security situation.  He stresses once again that there can be no military solution to the crisis in Darfur, and that a multidimensional United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur can have a significant and positive role in helping the Sudanese people to restore peace and stability to that troubled region.

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