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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of African Affairs > Releases > Remarks > 2006: African Affairs Remarks

Briefing on U.S. Efforts in Darfur and U.S. Efforts To Lead the UN Security Council and Work With the African Union and Other Nations on a Transition of the African Union Mission in Sudan to a UN Mission

Jendayi E. Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Kristen Silverberg, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
Washington, DC
February 3, 2006

[related Fact Sheet] 

(10:40 a.m. EST)

MR. ERELI: Good morning, everyone. We're pleased to have with us today two of our senior officials who are involved with the issue of Sudan. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer has just returned from a trip to the region and will give you an update on that trip and the situation in Sudan; and then we also have Assistant Secretary for International Organizations Affairs Kristen Silverberg. As you know, America assumed the presidency -- the United States assumed the presidency of the Security Council this month and Assistant Secretary Silverberg will give you a preview of what we hope to accomplish on the issue of Sudan in the Security Council during our presidency, and then we'll open it up to your questions. So we'll begin with Assistant Secretary Frazer.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Thank you. Good morning to everyone. How are you all doing? As Adam said, I'm going to give a brief update on Sudan and where we stand today. As all of you know and are aware, Rebecca Garang is here this month. She came to visit D.C. to attend the State of the Union as a guest of the First Lady. You know that she's also the Minister of Transportation in the Government of Southern Sudan. She's had an opportunity to meet with the Deputy Secretary Zoellick. She'll meet with myself today and with Secretary Rice next week.

A lot of attention has been spent on what's taking place in Darfur, which represents many tragedies, but one especially important is the fact that the situation in Darfur has so overshadowed the North-South Peace Agreement and the important work that's still required to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and I think that Rebecca Garang's visit here helps us to continue to focus on trying to consolidate the peace that had ended a 22-year civil war that killed over 2 million people.

But as I said, there are many tragedies in Darfur and ultimately what we need to arrest the deteriorating situation, security environment there, is a peace agreement, a peace solution. And we're continuing to work with the AU mediator, Dr. Salim Salim in Abuja, Nigeria, to try to come to find a solution to the crisis in Darfur through a power-sharing and wealth-sharing agreement that also has some arrangements for security. Again, we believe that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement provides the framework for achieving that political solution on Darfur.

All of you know that there's a human tragedy in Darfur with between 2 to 3 million people displaced due to the insecurity and violence in the region. There's been many recent incidents since December. If you want, we can talk about them in greater detail. But it's quite obvious that there's been a fraying of the security environment and violations of a ceasefire on the part of all parties -- the rebels, SLA, the JEM as well as the Government of Sudan and its militia forces, particularly the Janjaweed.

The U.S. will use its presidency of the Security Council to try to strengthen the African Union's work in Darfur to ensure that they have the resources necessary to provide for humanitarian access as well as to try to protect civilians, and again to arrest the deterioration.

The United States continues to have three major objectives in Darfur: one, and most importantly, trying to get that peace agreement; secondly, trying to ensure humanitarian access; and also trying to continue to push all of the parties to respect their ceasefire; and to strengthen the African Union mission so that it can better secure civilians and provide for that humanitarian access. We believe that the AU has been highly successful in diminishing the large-scale organized violence in Darfur. But we were quite pleased that on January 12th, the AU Peace and Security Council agreed in principle to seek a transition from the AMIS force to a UN operation within the framework of partnership between the AU, the UN and their respective members.

This is not a new idea. Indeed, it was envisioned since the beginning of the AMIS operation in August 2004. And we're also very pleased that Congo Brazzaville President Sassou-Nguesso, is a new President of the AU and his country is also now a member of the Security Council. And so we do believe that the AU and the UN Security Council through its president will be able to work very closely together to try to secure the environment and bring about a peaceful resolution of the crisis in Darfur.

We will support the AU's effort. As I said, we'll use our February presidency of the Security Council to achieve and improve security, to improve the humanitarian situation and to continue to support the AU's mediation to get a peaceful solution. And I'll turn it over to my colleague Kristen Silverberg now.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Thank you. In our capacity as Security Council president for the month of February, Ambassador Bolton this morning convened a meeting of the Security Council to discuss a Security Council statement on Darfur. This statement will begin the formal planning process for transitioning from the AU force in Darfur to a UN force. This statement will begin by commending the AU for its successful deployment of a mission in Darfur and for its work in improving the humanitarian situation and the situation for civilians in the area.

This initiative, as Jendayi said, is being taken in response to a January 12th communiqué by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, calling for a transition. And so the statement will call for continued partnership between the UN and the AU. We and other members of the Security Council strongly welcome a partnership between the AU and the UN on this issue.

The Council's statement will request that the UN present the Council with a number of different options, with a range of scenarios, for a single union mission that covers southern Sudan and Darfur. So a number of the details will be discussed after we see the scenarios presented by the UN, but we would anticipate a robust, strong Chapter 7 mandate that charges the UN mission with monitoring ceasefire agreements, protecting civilians, protecting the humanitarian response and monitoring compliance with previous Security Council resolutions on the arms embargo, the military flight ban and human rights violations. So we strongly support the AU efforts in Darfur and we will, of course, maintain strong support for the AU force while the transition is underway.

Thank you. I'm happy to take your questions.

MR. ERELI: Saul.

QUESTION: Can I ask you about --

MR. ERELI: Could you just identify yourself and your organization?

QUESTION: Yes. Saul Hudson from Reuters. Can I ask you about this blue-hatting of the mission? From what the Deputy Secretary said keeping the AU as the core force and from what I've seen of the drafts of the statement, it seems to suggest that really what we're doing is using existing resources -- they're already in Sudan and we're not getting a bigger number of troops in there. Can you say how specific the statement could be on numbers and what your goal is for increasing the amount of troops in Sudan?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: We will wait to see what the military planners at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations come back with. They will be working with our military planners and the U.S. Government will be providing assistance to them. So we think it's important that their planning make the best use, make whatever use they can, of the existing AU forces that are in Darfur. So we think that's important, but it is quite possible that they will come back with a recommendation for larger forces in the long term, and so we'll wait to see what they say.

QUESTION: Okay. If I can just follow up --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- because I think, you know, the Deputy Secretary has been -- has always briefed us extensively on this and, at one point, the idea was to get up to 12,000. It looks like the military planning has already been done. But when we hear, you know, comments like this, we seem a very long way away from getting up to that kind of figure.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: The AMIS force that's currently in southern Sudan is expected to be at about 7,000 by the middle of February. That force has been authorized for up to 10,000. The UN is continuing to work on force generation and on all of the logistical issues regarding deployment. We also have this, in connection with the presidential statement we're hoping to issue today, we will also have a planning exercise for the size of the force in Darfur. And as I say, it's entirely possible that the UN will come back and say we need a larger force in Darfur. And it is a high priority of the U.S. that we make sure we have the resources on the ground that are necessary to do this important job.

MR. ERELI: Peter.

QUESTION: Yes, two questions. One, does the United States still consider there's genocide going on in Darfur? And the second, does the United States plan to contribute U.S. troops to any eventual force?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: The United States has said that a genocide has occurred in Sudan and we continue to be concerned about the security environment in Darfur. As far as the question of U.S. troops, I think that what we need to do is put the focus on strengthening the AMIS force that's there.

In my consultations with the Africans, they had three particular interests in terms of the transitioning from an AU to a UN: One is that it have a robust mandate that would include protecting civilians, secondly that it's an augmentation of the AMIS forces, so we're starting at a base of about 7,000 and then ramping up, depending on what the military planners come back and say the necessary force size; and secondly, that Africans remain in the leadership of any UN mission. And I think that that's really where the focus is. What the U.S. contribution will be, we've already, as you know, we have observers, we have a few observers in Darfur. We are providing the majority of the finances for this trip. We've actually airlifted in the AU forces. And so we will continue to play an important role. I don't know what the character of that role will be at this point.

QUESTION: Can I just ask for clarity, just on the first statement there? Am I right in interpreting you're saying that genocide has occurred but it's no longer occurring there?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: As I said, we continue to be concerned about the security environment in Darfur and we've said that a genocide has occurred in Darfur. And so really the focus has to be on how can we protect the civilians, how can we arrest any deterioration in that security environment, how can we get a peace agreement. That really has to be the focus of our effort.

QUESTION: You obviously don't want to say whether you still believe that the legal definition of genocide is occurring at this point in time, but could you give a fuller picture of what you think is going on now? What are your concerns about the security situation? You've been worried about this for a long time. Why haven't there been some stronger measures in the Security Council against the Sudanese Government? And do you think that the death of John Garang has given the government of President Bashir an opportunity to renege on some of its commitments, both to the peace agreement and to -- of the North and South and to Darfur? Thanks.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: So many questions. I've lost track, I think. I remember the last one. As far as the death of John Garang, I think that it put -- I think obviously it was a tremendous tragedy. It most clearly had to set back implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement so it slowed down the process. I think that the challenge has been both for the Government of Southern Sudan to stand up after losing its leader as well for its ministers to integrate into a Government of National Unity. They've made tremendous progress since the beginning of January when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was actually signed, and then from June when John Garang had gone up to Khartoum. So I think that in that short window of time that there's been the constitution was in place, many of the commissions have been established, you do have a Government of Southern Sudan and with its parliament you have a Government of National Unity with its parliament. So they've stood up most of the new institutions of this Government of National Unity.

I think that there are always tactical maneuvers on the part of all parties and so I would say that, as a whole, we've seen progress and Bashir's government has been a part of that progress. We had the new presidency established. But whether there are tactical maneuvers to slow down a particular element, clearly that might be the case.

QUESTION: And the other question -- I'm sorry -- was could you, without defining whether there's a legal genocide going on now, you obviously don't want to go there -- but could you give a fuller picture of what you believe to be going on on the ground now?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Yes, thank you. I think that what we are seeing, particularly since the end of December and January, is there's obviously a lot more conflict taking place on the border between Chad and Sudan and the relationship between these two countries have complicated the security situation in Darfur as the Chadian Government has, you know, made charges that the Sudanese are supporting rebels in their territory and countercharges from the Sudanese. It's led to very fluid alliances within the rebel movement, you know, as we face many splits between the SLM, between Mani Minawi's faction, Abdelwahed’s faction and new factions developing every day.

And so I think that there's a fraying within the rebel forces that certainly complicates it, and the role of the neighbors is also a complicating factor -- Chad, Eritrea and Libya in particular. So it's fairly dynamic alliances, which makes the Abuja peace talks more difficult. There's also obviously been a fraying in the ceasefire agreement that previously was holding. And so I think that's what's happening and we really need to use the U.S. presidency of the Security Council to push on all fronts, to push for a successful peace agreement in Abuja, to strengthen the AMIS force and transition it to a UN Security Council, and to ensure humanitarian access.

QUESTION: Joel Brinkley, New York Times. How would a UN force be any more effective than the force that is there now? Do you expect different rules of engagement, more effective weaponry? What does "robust mandate" mean exactly?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: As I said, a lot of details will be fleshed out as part of the planning process. The DPKO, which is the peacekeeping operation at the UN, will come back with a range of scenarios. But there are a number of things that UN forces bring to the table that can be helpful. One is the simple fact that all the resources of the full international community are brought to bear, so not just the resources of Africa, which are still significant, but the resources of all the international community. The UN has an expertise in logistics. It frequently comes in with heavier equipment and more sort of involved logistical operations that are sometimes present in regional forces. So we think bringing in the UN can help strengthen the capacity of the force and also make sure that we're bringing lots of resources to bear.

QUESTION: What does "robust mandate" mean?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Again, we’ll have a detailed discussion of this when we get to the point of negotiating the terms of an actual resolution. But "robust mandate" will include essentially: protection of civilians; can it protect the humanitarian response; ensure that the humanitarian response can be ongoing; can it enforce ceasefire agreements; can it monitor compliance with other Security Council resolutions. So those are the kinds of things we would expect to see in any robust Chapter 7 mandate.

MR. ERELI: Teri.

QUESTION: As I understand it, Khartoum has not yet agreed to be re-hatting of the force. Could you talk about that and let us know if any of your discussions with Mrs. Garang shed any light on that? And also, I don't understand why you want to steer the conversation against -- away from there possibly being genocide continuing there, as if it would take attention away from the attempts to get peace. I would think that if genocide is continuing there and the United States documents that as it did the first time, it would only add to your -- add to the emphasis on a peace accord.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Well, let me just address that issue head-on first. We have said that the AMIS force has been effective in ending large-scale organized violence which we saw previously. If we said that the AMIS force has been successful in ending large-scale organized violence, it means that there isn't large-scale organized violence taking place today. What we have are incidents, small attacks, a fraying of the ceasefire that was in place from N’Djamena. And what we have to do is arrest that deterioration of the situation of the security environment. So that really is where our focus is, is trying to arrest those incidents of violence which reflects, as I said, very fluid alliances as well as some type of factionalization within the rebel forces themselves.

As far as the first question -- which was?

QUESTION: Khartoum has not yet agreed to the re-hatting.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: That's right. We definitely are trying to work with the AU, with the Sudanese Government and with all relevant parties to move towards a blue-hatting of the force. The key effort here is the three elements of it. Obviously, we need to, as I said, get a peace agreement. We need to strengthen the security environment, including strengthening AMIS immediately as it transitions to a UN force, and trying to ensure the humanitarian corridors. We are in discussions with the Sudanese Government. We're continuing in discussions with the Sudanese Government. One of the approaches that they would like to see, in terms of preventing a deterioration of the environment in Darfur is what they call joint integrated units. And these joint integrated units are provided for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. They were an idea of Dr. John Garang, and you asked about Rebecca Garang and what consultations we've had. She's raised it again since she's been here, in which John Garang had anticipated 10,000 SPLA, 10,000 Government of Sudan forces and 10,000 AU forces coming together to operate in Darfur.

Obviously, they have the Joint Defense Board in place. Joint integrated units require training and so the timeline for providing them in Darfur may be very difficult. And I think that the Government of Sudan also has an interest in these joint integrated units but also understands that that timeline is difficult, which then leads to moving towards a blue hat if that option is not there. But it's still one of the options that is being considered for how to strengthen AMIS in the short term and the process of transitioning to a blue helmet.

QUESTION: But would the AMIS -- would the 10,000 AMIS forces then be UN forces? I mean, is this still a live idea?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Well, the joint integrated units is the idea --

QUESTION: Interim idea?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: It's an idea that Rebecca Garang is discussing here. You had asked about consultations with Rebecca Garang --

QUESTION: Right.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: -- and she's raised this issue as a possibility.

MR. ERELI: George.

QUESTION: I know you don't want to touch genocide, but is there any evidence that the Sudanese Government and its allies are showing any restraint at all? Because as I understand it, the UN says that 30,000 people have been displaced over the past month in Darfur -- forget the border area -- in Darfur in western Sudan. And that shows to me that it is more than small attacks as you describe them; it's a very serious situation. What do you say to that?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: It is a very serious situation and it's a series of small attacks and incidents. Some of them lead to clashes and some of them have actually been prevented. But the fact of the matter is you're having more of these incidents, more frequency of incidents, and so definitely it's a very serious situation. And that's why we need to put a focus on how can we strengthen AMIS immediately and move toward a longer-term sustainable solution of moving toward a blue hat, and why we're going to focus the U.S. presidency of the Security Council in February on just that effort.

QUESTION: So is this mostly Sudanese-backed militias or are the rebels involved?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: It's both. When I -- I arrived in Sudan for the AU summit and the day I arrived the SLA -- well, the Sudanese Liberation Movement, their armed faction, had actually attacked Government of Sudan forces. And so it goes in all directions. You have Janjaweed attacking, you have Government of Sudan seeming to support, you have SLA attacking governmental forces, so it's going both ways. And you also have new factions coming out and threatening IDP camps.

MR. ERELI: Janine.

QUESTION: Hi. Janine Zacharia with Bloomberg News. I'm a little bit confused about the mission, that you're going to beef up the AMIS mission and then that mission is going to be converted into a UN force or it's going to be new people coming in from the outside? And what was the base of 7,000? You said that's going to be new people?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: In the short term, the transition to a UN force will take some time. It takes a number of months to arrange logistics and to actually re-hat the force. In the short term, we think it's very important to strengthen the AMIS mission which is currently on the ground in Darfur and we have a number of different ways of doing that. We have logistical experts on the ground now. We're working with NATO on issues relating to training and equipment. So that's the short-term effort. The longer-term effort which is done in consultation with the AU is to actually put that under a UN command, so a UN commander on the ground.

It is highly likely that a large number of the existing AMIS forces will be part of the new expanded UN force which will now cover all of Sudan -- Southern Sudan and Darfur. And so no, it's not exactly that they just changed commanders; it's that a number of the AMIS forces will be used as part of the UN force.

QUESTION: What was the seven -- the base of 7,000?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: I think it was referring to the approximate size of the UN mission in Southern Sudan today.

QUESTION: Oh, something separate.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Yes, which is by about mid-February, we expect the UN force in Southern Sudan to be about 7,000.

MR. ERELI: Charlie.

QUESTION: Just for clarification. Charlie Wolfson from CBS News. Just for clarification, what do you expect to get done while the U.S. has the chair? And you said -- you made a reference in the previous answer to months before it becomes a UN. Are we talking three or six or?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: What we would like to get done while the U.S. has the chair is this (a) is to get agreement at the Security Council to, in cooperation with the AU, transition to an expanded UN force. The first step of that is being taken, we expect, today with issuance of the Security Council statement, which is what charges the UN with beginning the planning process. So that's essentially what gets the planning process going. The UN will then come back to the Security Council with a range of options and, in consultation with the AU, the Security Council would then a make a decision to adopt a resolution and that's what would spell out of the details regarding the force size, deployment within particular zones, that kind of thing.

QUESTION: But you don't necessarily expect that to happen now that the U.S. has the chair?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Again, we want to be in close consultation with the AU which is, we anticipate, a final decision sometime in the near future from the AU. But yes, we would like to for all of this to happen as quickly as possible.

MR. ERELI: Yes, Peter.

QUESTION: Can you just follow up on something because what you're saying is you're saying you're going to have an expanded force but it's also going to cover a greatly expanded area. So are we talking actually pretty much of a very sizeable leap in number of troops then, because it doesn't make sense otherwise?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: We would -- there are currently forces -- the AMIS forces in Darfur, the UN forces in Southern Sudan. What the size of the combined force, which will all be under UN is, is still under discussion. There's no chance that that would be smaller than the existing combined forces. So in any event, no, there's no chance that we'll have a smaller number of troops covering a larger area.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) significantly larger because it's covering a significantly larger area, right?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Again, are you talking about significantly larger than the combined force right now or are you talking significantly larger than the UN forces in Southern Sudan?

QUESTION: (Inaudible.)

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Yes. I would expect that the UN force will grow. The question is by how much. But yes, there's no question that we will need -- that we will not be reducing the troop size from what it is currently, covering both Darfur and Southern Sudan.

QUESTION: What does the troop force in Southern Sudan have to do with this discussion? Are you planning to move some of them to Darfur?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: No. No, this is -- I was just responding to her question about -- she had asked what was the base of 7,000.

QUESTION: But are you saying that --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: Yes, actually --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Right now we have about 7,000 AMIS forces in Darfur and 7,000 forces in UNMIS. If it's going to be a UN blue hat, it would be a combined mission. So that's what UNMIS force has to do with Darfur is you're not going to have two UN missions in Sudan. It would be under one; it would become one mission. That's anticipated anyway.

MR. ERELI: Saul.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask you, please, about the negotiations at the UN. Obviously, the U.S. has been driving this process but there are sort of horse trade and give and take. How does another issue fit into this, which is the Ivory Coast? I believe that other countries have asked for sanctions against three Ivory Coast leaders, but the U.S. didn't actually sign on to that. So can you address why the U.S. didn't sign on to it and how that's sort of diminishing, you know, the stuff that you can ask from other countries?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Sure. Let me start by saying it's not that the U.S. didn't sign on to sanctions against Ivory Coast. It's mostly, when we have these sanctions issue, it's a process issue and a timing issue. We have to have names vetted through our Treasury Department, the Office of Foreign Asset Control, OFAC, before we can sign off on and so it's a technical issue. It's not our intent. Our intent from a policy standpoint is that those parties that have undermined the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire should be sanctioned. And that's on both sides, whether it's the Government of Cote d'Ivoire as well as the rebel forces.

QUESTION: So can you just say how much longer it would take before you do that vetting or have you now missed the boat? You can't actually say --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: I think we'll have more to discuss on this later.

QUESTION: What does that mean? Later after the briefing or --

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: I think it's under -- it's going on right now.

ASSISTANT SECRETARY SILVERBERG: We'll come back to you, yeah, in the near future.

QUESTION: Okay. Saul Hudson from Reuters then. (Laughter.) Come back to me.

MR. ERELI: Joel.

QUESTION: Joel Wishengrad of World Media Reports, WMR News. There have been ongoing demonstrations here in Washington led by Joe Madison of WOL Radio, Radio One, as well as Africa Action led by Salih Booker and Emira Woods of the Institute for Policy Studies. Also there's nothing that you're speaking about, the behavior of Umar al-Bashir, and in the last two weeks he's been billed as the world's worst dictator. Now, there have been ongoing news reports of BBC, Independent Television News of England, London, as well as ABC Nightline and ABC News that are documenting what has gone in Darfur and some of this video has been shown firsthand to the various officials in Khartoum. They don't acknowledge what's going on and there seems to be a direct, almost an ostrich-like --

MR. ERELI: The question, Joel. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: -- yes, an ostrich-like disbelief and this ongoing crisis continues. What in your statement in the UN will make action, not just words, effective to end this crisis?

ASSISTANT SECRETARY FRAZER: Sure, I'll take that on. (Laughter.) We have been acting. We've done more than words. I mean, we've been acting from the very beginning of the multiple tragedies that are reflected in Sudan and we will continue to act.

As for Bashir and his government acknowledging what's taking place in Darfur, I think you should read his statement at the AU summit in which he was denied the presidency of the summit because of what's taking place in Darfur, and he acknowledged the problems there. I've met and the Deputy Secretary has met and the Secretary has met with officials in Sudan, and everybody knows that the crisis in Darfur has to come to an end.

It's a much more difficult process, frankly, in terms of getting a peace agreement in Darfur than it was with the North-South because you had a coherent movement in the SPLM whereas in Darfur you have disparate rebel groups. I've been in Darfur. I've sat down the various factions trying to get them to come up with a common negotiating position. As I said, the Deputy Secretary's Special Rep Roger Winter is in Abuja right now and we have lawyers in Abuja, we've sent military advisors to Abuja -- all supporting the AAU mediator to try to get a peace agreement. The United States has spent over a billion dollars on humanitarian assistance. We've airlifted in Rwandans and Nigerians. We've established 32 base camps there. All of that constitutes action. And this Security Council resolution and the presidential statement is words on a paper, but they're words on a paper that will allow us to continue to strengthen our action to try to end this crisis in Darfur. And so I think that we have a record of action. I think that at least the Government of Sudan official that I've met with understand that the situation in Darfur is unacceptable to everybody and that the only way that they can progress not only internationally but even within Africa itself is by ending that crisis and not allowing a new crisis to occur in eastern Sudan.

MR. ERELI: I think we've got time for one more. One more question? (No response.)

Thanks, everybody.

2006/144


Released on February 3, 2006

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