Conor Lenihan announces an additional €1.5 million for the African Union Mission in Sudan
Mr. Conor Lenihan, T.D., Minister of State for Irish Aid and Human Rights, today announced additional funding of €1.5 million to support the activities of the African Union in the Darfur region of Sudan.
The announcement was made in advance of next week's Pledging Conference in Brussels for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). This brings to €3 million the support provided by Irish Aid to AMIS since 2004.
Minister Lenihan said:
“The African Union mission faces enormous challenges in performing its tasks of monitoring cease-fire compliance, assisting in the process of confidence-building and providing a secure environment for the delivery of essential humanitarian aid to the people of Darfur.
While a number of parties to the conflict have recently signed the Darfur Peace Agreement, others have not. The situation on the ground remains complex and deadly.
The people of Darfur and those delivering essential assistance to them must be protected.
As my colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., saw first-hand when he visited Darfur earlier this month, AMIS will only be able to perform to full effect if it receives more support from the international community. Ireland is stepping up its support.
We are strongly of the view that the Sudanese authorities should agree to the deployment of a United Nations force in Darfur. In the meantime, it is essential to give the African Union Mission in Sudan the means to carry out its mandate prior to any handover to the UN.”
16 July 2006
Note to Editors:
In the period 2004-2005, €20 million in Irish Aid funding was provided to Sudan, over half of which was in response to the crisis in Darfur.
To date in 2006, funding of over €6 million has already been provided for emergency and recovery activities in Sudan (not including the amount announced today) and further spending is planned for the remainder of the year.
The Government is committed to increasing Ireland's contribution to alleviating the suffering of the people of Darfur and of Sudan as a whole.
The mandate of the military component of the AU's ceasefire observation mission in Darfur (AMIS) is to provide a secure environment for civilians, the delivery of humanitarian relief, and the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their homes. It is authorised to protect civilians under imminent threat, within available capacity and resources.