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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > October
Press Statement (Revised)
Richard Boucher
Washington, DC
October 28, 2004


Sudan: United States Transports Nigerian Troops to Darfur

The United States transported a 47-man Nigerian unit to Darfur today to commence the accelerated deployment of an expanded African Union mission. U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft carried these troops from Abuja to Al Fasher, Sudan. The United States will continue to furnish two U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft to provide transport for additional African troops, other personnel and equipment to Darfur over the next two weeks. This expanded mission, which will eventually grow to include close to 3,500 troops, military observers, and police, is essential to providing security for the people of Darfur and we are pleased to contribute to it.

This deployment has come after months of concerted efforts by the United States and others to secure an increase in the number of African Union monitors and protection forces in Darfur. Secretary Powell has worked actively on this with UN Secretary General Annan during that time. In September, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1564 calling for an expanded African Union mission. Shortly thereafter, the Secretary met with President Obasanjo of Nigeria in New York to discuss how we could assist the African Union to carry out this mandate. The Secretary put Sudan at the top of the agenda at various meeting with our G-8 and European partners. Our representatives at the African Union Headquarters in Addas Ababa and our diplomats in various African capitals then worked to coordinate these deployments.

We will continue to take steps to assist the African Union. In addition to our airlift, the United States is providing $40.3 million to give logistical support to this expanded mission. We welcome the contributions of others to this effort, including the European Union's announcement of $100 million to support the deployment, and contributions from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Our support for this expanded African Union mission underscores our commitment to restore peace and security to Darfur and to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people. We continue to urge all parties in Darfur to cooperate with the African Union. We call on the participants in negotiations on Abjua and Nairobi to rapidly conclude agreements aimed at ending the violence and the atrocities in Darfur and inaugurating a comprehensive peace in Sudan.

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2004/1175


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