Annan Sends UN Envoy To Sudanese Capital To Clarify Details Of Darfur Agreements
New York, Dec 18 2006 6:00PM
Secretary-General Kofi Annan is dispatching a senior envoy to Khartoum for talks with Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir
about the details of recent agreements on ending the widespread killing and displacement in the war-torn Darfur region,
including the role of the United Nations, a spokesman for the world body announced today.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, currently the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, will start his
diplomatic mission in the Sudanese capital on Wednesday, Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
He added the decision to send a UN envoy to deliver a message to Mr. el-Bashir followed a weekend telephone conversation
between the Secretary-General and the Sudanese leader.
The two men will clarify details of the deal reached at last month’s High-Level meeting on Darfur, held in Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, where the UN, the AU and Sudan agreed that the UN would provide extra support to the current AU peacekeeping
mission – known as AMIS – as part of a three-phase process culminating in AMIS becoming a hybrid UN-AU mission.
The hybrid force is expected to have about 17,000 troops and 3,000 police officers, compared to the current AMIS
strength of around 7,000.
Mr. Ould-Abdallah and Mr. el-Bashir will also discuss the outcome of a subsequent AU Peace and Security Council meeting
in Abuja, Nigeria, which endorsed the conclusions reached in Addis Ababa.
Under the first phase of enhanced UN support, the UN is giving AMIS a $21 million “light support package,” which
includes the provision of some equipment as well as 105 military advisers, 33 police officers and 48 civilian staff from
the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) – a separate peacekeeping operation mandated to oversee a peace pact that ended the
21-year war in the country's south.
Mr. Annan and the Security Council’s five permanent members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United
States – will hold their own meeting on Darfur later today. Secretary-General designate Ban Ki-moon is also expected to
More than 200,000 people have been killed across Darfur since 2003 and at least 2 million others displaced from their
homes because of fighting between Government forces, allied militias and rebel groups seeking greater autonomy.
Some 4 million people now depend on the UN or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for humanitarian aid, and the
security situation across the vast and impoverished region on Sudan’s western flank continues to deteriorate.