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Darfur

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she plans to take concerning Darfur following the recent African Union Peace and Security Council meeting; and what assessment she has made of the effect on the prospects for long term peace and stability of the extension of the mandate of the current African Union peace mission in Darfur. (108044)

We welcome the decision of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) to extend the mandate of the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS). We will continue to press for the full implementation of the conclusions of the 30 November meeting of the PSC. It is crucial that AMIS is bolstered by the phased UN support package that was agreed by the PSC if it is to be effective in promoting peace and stability in Darfur. We will continue to press the Government of Sudan to agree to this, urge our international partners to do the same, and go on providing support to AMIS. The hybrid AU/UN force should have a mandate based on the key elements of UN Security Council Resolution 1706.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support she plans to commit to UN activities in Darfur following the proposals of the recent African Union Peace and Security Council meeting. (108046)

The African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) meeting on 30 November endorsed the conclusions of the High level Consultation on Darfur held in Addis Ababa on 16 November. This requires the UN and AU jointly to take forward the political process for Darfur and provides for a phased increase in UN support to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). The UK supports these outcomes, and is committed to supporting the AU and UN in their implementation. We are already a leading financial contributor to AMIS, providing 20m in financial assistance this year, and provide political, financial and practical support to the UN in Sudan.

We also want to secure UN funding for the peace keeping proposals endorsed by the AU PSC in order to ensure the sustainability of peacekeeping in Darfur. The UK financial contribution to UN assessed costs is currently 7.4 per cent. At the request of the UN we are providing two police advisers to assist the UN advance team with planning for the hybrid force, in addition to two UK officers and one Ministry of Defence secondee already assisting the UN’s Department for Peacekeeping Operations with planning for Sudan. The hybrid AU/UN forces should have a mandate based on the key elements of UN Security Council Resolution 1706.