South African Government, as the current Chairperson of the African Union Post-Conflict and Reconstruction Committee (PCRC) in Sudan, Support towards the Deployment of United Nations Troops to the Province of Darfur

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 61

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 17 OF 31 MAY 2005

Mr DHM Gibson (DA) to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Whether, as the current Chairperson of the African Union Post-Conflict and Reconstruction Committee (PCRC) in Sudan, the Government will support the deployment of United Nations troops to the province of Darfur; if not, why not; if so, what steps will the Government take to ensure that this takes place?
N1109E

REPLY:

Article 17 of the Protocol Establishing the Peace and Security Council describes the relationship between the AU and the United Nations. Article 17 (2) in particular notes that where necessary, recourse will be made to the United Nations to provide the necessary financial, logistical and military support for the African Unions' activities in the promotion and maintenance of peace, security and stability in Africa, in keeping with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter on the role of Regional Organizations in the maintenance of international peace and security.

It would therefore be a natural progression for the AMIS to be turned into a United Nations Mission, as the United Nations recognises its responsibility regarding conflict areas in Africa.

This process has in fact already begun. The Secretary-General of the UN has reported to the UNSC on the situation in Darfur. He contended that the strengthening of AMIS is necessary to ensure stability in Darfur. He proposed that the UN assist the AU by offering its technical assistance and training to bolster AMIS. The Security Council welcomed the SG's proposals and called on donors to continue their support for the AU operation.

After this report to the UN, Mr Kofi Annan met with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa for a Pledging Conference for AMIS, which was held in Addis Ababa on 26 May 2005. The idea to host this Conference followed on the decision taken by the AU Peace and Security Council of 28 April 2005, authorising the further enhancement of AMIS to a full operational capability of 6,171 military personnel, with an appropriate civilian component, including up to 1,560 civilian police, by the end of September 2005.

Therefore, South Africa supports any decision of the AU or UN regarding additional troops.

END.

 



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