An Open Letter to the American People: U.S. Support for AMISJendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs
October 23, 2006
In an effort to address concerns about U.S. support for AMIS, as expressed by members of the American public, Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer offers this open letter in response:
Thank you for your concern regarding U.S. support for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). I share your deep concern and the concern of the American people for the people of Sudan and am committed to creating lasting peace throughout the country.
The United States is leading the world in responding to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. As Secretary Rice has said, the U.S. calls this tragedy by the only name it deserves: genocide. We are working diligently with the United Nations, the African Union, and our international partners to end the violence, to hold accountable those individuals responsible for atrocities, and to ensure the delivery of humanitarian relief. We are also pressing the Government of Sudan and the non-signatory rebel groups to end the fighting.
President Bush is intensely and personally interested in helping the people of Darfur. He appointed Andrew S. Natsios as his Special Envoy to Sudan on September 19, 2006. Mr. Natsios is familiar with the region and will work closely with the State Department team, led by Secretary Rice and Assistant Secretary Frazer, to strengthen efforts to end the conflict in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan.
AMIS recently extended its mandate in Darfur to December 31, 2006. The U.S. Government will continue to support AMIS as it transitions to a larger, more robust U.N. peacekeeping operation. The U.S. has been generous in its support of AMIS thus far, expending nearly $300 million since its inception in 2004. We also continue to work in the U.N. Security Council to ensure implementation of resolution 1706 and to persuade the Government of Sudan to accept the transition to a U.N. force. Furthermore, the United States is reaching out to non-signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement to encourage them to join the agreement and seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The Bush Administration has been leading efforts to end conflict in Sudan for many years. The United States helped broker the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005 that ended 22 years of civil war. That war took the lives of nearly 2 million and displaced 4 million more.
Ending conflict in Sudan and protecting innocent civilians is one of our highest priorities. We will continue our support to the people of Darfur and all of Sudan until peace is achieved.
Released on October 23, 2006