Minister for Foreign Affairs Welcomes Progress on Darfur
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Dermot Ahern TD, has welcomed the agreement reached yesterday on a joint UN/African Union force for Darfur.
The Minister said: “I very much welcome this development, and look forward to early agreement on the outstanding details. It is vital that this agreement be fleshed out and fully implemented on the ground. It is only one stage in a process which must continue.
As I saw for myself when I visited Darfur in July, the humanitarian and security situation there is appalling. While the existing African Union force has made a good contribution within the limits of its mandate and resources, it has been clear for a long time that a much stronger peace-keeping force is required to protect Darfur's vulnerable population and allow for the full provision of humanitarian support. Consistent engagement by the international community, led by Secretary-General Annan, now appears to have led to a welcome change in the Sudan Government's approach.
I have consistently highlighted this issue with my EU colleagues and other international partners and it is imperative that we maintain the pressure on all involved to live up to their commitments and responsibilities. Ireland has already contributed substantial support to Darfur and we stand ready to do more.”
17 November 2006