We have repeatedly discussed with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the appropriate EU authorities the issue of co-ordination between the African Union/UN hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which assumed authority on 31 December 2007, and the UN/EU mission in Chad/Central African Republic (EUFOR) which is scheduled to start deploying in February. UNAMID has a number of liaison officers deployed in Abeche in Eastern Chad and we understand EUFOR may also deploy liaison officers in Darfur.
We have also extended the Joint Action of the EU Special Representative to Sudan to cover the EUFOR deployment in Chad, and to encourage co-ordination between the two missions. We are monitoring incursions across the Chad-Sudan border and, in bilateral contacts, we have urged both the Government of Sudan and the Government of Chad to exercise restraint.
The UN Security Council will continue to take a close interest in the African Union/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) deployment throughout 2008. In response to the attack on a UNAMID convoy on 7 January, the UN Security Council issued a presidential statement on 11 January that called on the Government of Sudan to conclude
“all the necessary arrangements for the expeditious deployment of an effective UNAMID force”.
We will continue to press the Government of Sudan to resolve outstanding issues, including force composition, the Status of Forces Agreement and night flying rights. We will also continue to discuss this issue with EU partners and to reiterate with them our readiness to consider further measures in the UN framework against any party that obstructs the prompt deployment of an effective force.