Commissioner Michel to call for faster progress in the peace talks on Darfur
Sommaire: Commissioner Michel to call for faster progress in the peace talks on Darfur (Brussels: 7 March 2006)
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, will call all parties for more progress in the peace talks on Darfur, in a series of high level meetings with the UN, the African Union, the USA and the Sudanese Government tomorrow in Brussels.
Commissioner Louis Michel
and Javier Solana
, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, will jointly hold meetings in Brussels with Hėdi Annabi
, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peace-keeping Operations, Alpha Oumar Konaré
, Chairman of the African Union Commission, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
, Vice-President of the Republic of the Sudan, and Robert B. Zoellick
, US Deputy-Secretary of State. The meeting will provide an opportunity
to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the peace talks between the rebel movements and Sudanese authorities in Abuja and the key role played by the African Union Peace Mission (AMIS), which is strongly backed, politically and financially, by the EU. On the eve of the meeting, Commissioner Michel expressed concerns about the slow progress in the Abuja talks: "The Sudanese and the international community are at a crossroad. The continuing conflict in Darfur threatens the stability of Sudan
and of the whole region. The sufferings of the civilian population are immense. We must act and we must act now." In his talks with his various interlocutors, Commissioner Michel will stress three priority areas:
- The Government of Sudan and the Darfur rebel movements to sign quickly a peace agreement. Negotiations in Abuja have been dragging on for far too long. This agreement must preserve the integrity of Sudan as well as ensure adequate participation of the Darfur people.
- Security on the ground must be fully ensured. The military force deployed by the African Union, with the EU as its main financial support, has done a tremendous job over the last two years in very difficult circumstances. We understand that our African partners are reflecting upon the future of the AMIS operation. It is essential that there is an urgent clarification on the future of the AMIS operation and a possible involvement of UN troops in Darfur. Uncertainty potentially generates
- The humanitarian situation must be addressed forcefully. As one of the leading humanitarian donors, the Commission will continue to provide much needed relief assistance in 2006. But relief workers and operations continue to be targeted by violent groups and as a result, aid cannot reach the people in need. This is against all humanitarian principles. A key role for the international force deployed in Darfur is to protect the populations and further ensure the protection of humanitarian
operations and access to the victims.
In the field of peace and security, the African Union has shown a strong political commitment, more particularly through its involvement and leadership in the Darfur conflict. The EU has responded to requests from the AU by creating the African Peace Facility (APF), a €250 Million Development instrument based on the principle of African ownership of the continent's peace and security agenda The Peace Facility became operational in the first half of 2004 and has so far provided support to the
AU-led operation in Sudan/Darfur (AMIS) as well as to the AU institutional capacity-building. Due to the EU's commitment to the AU and the AMIS operation, the APF is rapidly being depleted. The future of the APF is currently being discussed. Last December, the European Commission approved an additional support of €70 Million for AU Mission in Sudan/Darfur through the African Peace Facility. These funds came from the 9th European Development Fund, which comes under the responsibility of
Commissioner Louis Michel.
- Ref: EC06-088EN
- Source UE: Commission Européenne
- UN forum:
- Date: 7/3/2006
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