January 10th, 2008 02:16 EST
Transfer of Authority to the Hybrid United Nations/African Union Peacekeeping Force in Darfur
We welcome today’s formal transfer of authority from the African Union-led peacekeeping force in Sudan (AMIS) to the hybrid United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). We call on the United Nations’ Department of Peacekeeping Operations and all UN member states to work to deploy the full hybrid operation as rapidly as possible. We continue to call on all parties, including the Government of Sudan and rebel movements, to cease any obstructionist behavior and to facilitate the force’s full and expeditious deployment.
The United States commends the hard work of the AMIS mission in its efforts to re-establish security in Darfur. The United States has been a major supporter of AMIS since its inception in 2004. In total, the United States has provided more than $450 million in support of AMIS, including the construction and maintenance of all AMIS base camps in Darfur, training and equipping personnel from AMIS troop contributing countries, and provision of strategic airlifts to AMIS personnel.
The United States is committed to facilitating a smooth and rapid transition from AMIS to UNAMID. To this end, the United States will transfer all base camps and related peacekeeping assets in Darfur, valued at approximately $40 million, to the United Nations on January 1, 2008, without seeking reimbursement. We have also dedicated personnel to provide guidance on critical camp operations, maintenance, and related issues during the initial transition period.
The United States remains committed to supporting Darfur peacekeeping. We will fund approximately one quarter of UNAMID’s budget through our assessed contributions to the UN. To help expedite UNAMID deployment, we also plan, together with international partners, to provide training and equipment support to potential troop contributing countries in Africa.
We call on the government of Sudan and on all of the rebel factions to observe a complete and immediate ceasefire, to facilitate UNAMID's full and expeditious deployment, and to cooperate fully with UNAMID's efforts to restore peace and security to Darfur. The people of Darfur have suffered for much too long. We fully support the ongoing efforts of the United Nations and the African Union to bring this suffering to an end.
Tom Casey, Deputy Spokesman
December 31, 2007