Urging Donor Support for DarfurJendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs
Remarks to African Union Mission In Sudan Donors Conference
July 18, 2006
Secretary General Annan, Chairman Konare, Commissioner Michel, distinguished colleagues, it is a pleasure to join you in Brussels to discuss what all of our nations and organizations are doing in Darfur to support the African Union and people of Darfur. I am proud to be here representing President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
A successful resolution to the situation in Darfur is one of the highest foreign policy priorities for President Bush and his Administration. President Bush remains keenly focused on the important work being done to bring about lasting peace, democracy, and reconciliation in the Darfur .
We recognize the African Union has successfully mediated the Darfur Peace Agreement and its presence in Darfur has largely reduced large-scale organized violence against civilians. The United States joins the international community in strongly commending the African Union peacekeepers and their leaders.
The Sudanese government should also be commended for signing the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and we hope it will wisely accept a United Nations rehatting of AMIS to ensure the Darfur Peace Agreement is implemented. The need for a United Nations mission is even greater now than it was on May 5, when the agreement was signed. The USG accordingly takes serious the African Union's requests to transition to a United Nations mission at the end of September 2006.
As the UN readies itself to take over the mission, we encourage them to move quickly and begin assisting AMIS now -- this will pave the way for the smoothest possible transition. After all, the AU first made its intent to transition known as far back as January and March 2006 at all of our urging. The meetings today and especially the Secretary General's strong commitment to peace in Sudan give us confidence.
Among the members of the international community, the United States has been proactive in providing assistance to AMIS. Since 2004, we have contributed $247 million, and today we intend to commit another $116 million through the end of September 2006. This $116 million is in addition to the $70 million already committed in 2006.
The $116 million will be used to continue current base operations support through the end of September 2006, train and equip African Union troops to United Nations standards, airlift rotating battalions, and build and maintain camps for an additional two Rwandan battalions.
The United States has played a central role. We support: 34 AMIS camps, maintenance of African Union vehicles and communications equipment, pre-deployment training for Rwandan and Senegalese troops, as well as airlifts of Rwandan troops.
The United States has also taken care to address the humanitarian crisis, in the midst of all the security issues. Over the last two years, the United States has provided more than $1.6 million in humanitarian and peacekeeping assistance.
Clearly, the United States has not -- and could not -- shoulder this challenge alone. If we are to truly assist AMIS and the 2 million suffering, displaced people in Darfur, along with the 220,000 refugees in neighboring Chad , we need the continuing help of everyone here.
For the sake of individuals throughout the region, the United States government plans to accelerate and support the process of a rapid United Nations rehatting of AMIS.
AMIS has done its job, and we expect it to do more, and better to implement the DPA. We have to acknowledge that African Union troops have bravely and honorably monitored cease-fire agreements, served as civilian police, and served as protection forces. AMIS' capacity has been greatly enhanced by international donors. We must now lay the groundwork for the UN force to take over as soon as possible.
We also have to work toward peace by shoring up the DPA. We commend Sudan 's Government of National Unity and Minni Minawi for having demonstrated courage and wisdom in signing the DPA. We also would like to commend those senior representatives of Abdul Wahid's faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement, who signed the Declaration of Commitment as partners to the DPA who agreed to work within the peace process' framework.
As we pledge to support AMIS and transition to a UN peacekeeping operation, we must realistically look at what adjustments must be made to planning since only two of four parties signed the DPA. We need a political plan for bringing on board Abdul Wahid and the larger Fur community. We need a military plan that addresses hostile forces that are continuing to attack DPA signatories, supporters and innocent civilians.
The people of Darfur have been plagued by violence, atrocities, and a humanitarian catastrophe. With the strengthening of AMIS and transition to a UN peacekeeping force, the full implementation of the DPA should offer the people of Darfur a safe and secure environment that allows them to return to their homes and enable reconstruction and development to take place. I hope that this conference concretely advances this fundamental goal. Thank you.