Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials meet regularly with Dr. Mudawi in Sudan. Like us, he remains concerned about the ongoing security problems in Darfur. We also share his concern about the need for a greater understanding of the Darfur Peace Agreement in order to develop more support among Darfuris themselves. He is also keen to press on with arrangements for a Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation to act as a rallying point for the different interest groups in the region.
We welcome the African Union’s (AU) decision on 15 May to proceed with the transition of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to the UN. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister discussed this with the chairperson of the AU when they met in London last month. We continue to support AMIS through funding and technical assistance to enhance its effectiveness.
We also welcome the Government of Sudan’s acceptance of the UN planning mission and are pressing for them to agree to the deployment of a UN force in Darfur. Joint planning for transition between the AU and the UN is already under way. We are providing military and police planning experts to the UN and pressing for the handover to take place as quickly as possible.
After extensive international lobbying, the Government of Sudan have agreed to allow a UN Technical Assistance Mission to visit Sudan to begin planning for the deployment of a UN force for Darfur. However, they have not yet endorsed the deployment of a UN force for Darfur. We and other international partners will continue to lobby them to do so.