Tom Casey, Acting Spokesman
March 10, 2006
Transition of African Union Mission in Sudan to United Nations Operation
Released on March 10, 2006
The United States is pleased that the African Union decided today (March 10) to support a transition to a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur. The members of the African Unionís Peace and Security Council have recognized the urgent need to improve security for the suffering people of Darfur, and we applaud their decision.
The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) has been a success, providing initial stabilization and reducing large-scale organized violence. The United States will now work in the United Nations Security Council to push for authorization of a United Nations peacekeeping mission as soon as possible, with African troops at its core and under African leadership. We will simultaneously work closely with Sudanís Government of National Unity and our African and European partners to energize the African Union-mediated Darfur peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria. There is no time to waste. People are suffering and dying in Darfur, while millions are at risk as the security situation deteriorates.
President Bush has made resolving the Darfur crisis a top priority, and the United States has been working hard with all parties to promote peace, security and reconciliation. The United States supports and is committed to assisting in the transition to a United Nations peacekeeping operation within the framework of partnership between the African Union and the United Nations as soon as possible. Discussions held by Deputy Secretary Robert B. Zoellick this week in Europe with many of the parties and the African Union mediators highlighted the opportunity to make significant progress in the Abuja peace talks in the near future.
As the United States works to authorize and deploy a United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur, we will work with our international partners to strengthen and support the African Union peacekeeping mission in the interim period.