Minister for Foreign Affairs welcomes decision by African Union to extend mandate of its ceasefire monitoring mission in Darfur, Sudan until end December 2006
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., has warmly welcomed the decision taken yesterday evening in New York by the African Union's Peace and Security Council to extend the mandate of AMIS, its ceasefire monitoring mission in the Darfur region of Sudan until the end of the year.
Minister Ahern said:
"This is a positive development and will go some way to meeting the basic need for security and protection which the people of Drafur urgently require".
I hope that the African Union's decision will lead to a willingness by the Sudanese Government to re-consider urgently its continued opposition to deployment of a UN peace-keeping mission in Darfur. Deployment of such a UN mission remains the overwhelming priority in terms of improving security in Darfur. Sudan should now work with the UN, the AU and others in the international community to ensure that a UN mission can take over when the AMIS mandate expires on 31 December 2006."
The Minister continued: "I will be raising these issues at my planned meeting with the Sudanese Foreign Minister in New York next week at the UN General Assembly. I also intend impressing upon the Sudanese Government the importance of removing all restrictions and ensuring full security for all those engaged in vital, life-saving humanitarian operations in Darfur."
Minister Ahern concluded by urging increased support from the international community to enable AMIS to complete its important mandate in Darfur. "Ireland has already contributed €3 million in support to AMIS, including €1.5 million announced last July, and I would hope and encourage others to follow our lead", concluded the Minister.
Department of Foreign Affairs
21 September 2006