AU Military Experts conclude a working visit to Darfur
The 8-man team of high profile military experts has concluded its working visit to Darfur following the decision by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) at its 41st Meeting two weeks ago at Addis Ababa. The leader of the group, General Henry Anyidoho, the Joint Chief of staff of Darfur Integrated Task Force(DITF) made it plain on arrival that they had come to deliver messages of solidarity and encouragement to AMIS personnel in their areas of responsibility( AOR) in the wake of recent tragic events in Khor Abeche and Tine, south and west Darfur respectively, where alleged elements of the Sudan Liberation Army killed and severely wounded Nigerian troops and a dissident group from JEM abducted 38 men and women on patrol.
The General addressed troops at Tine, Khor Abeche and Kutum in North Darfur, among other places, and his message rung clear that AU personnel should not be led into believing that they have been forgotten or abandoned. The swift reaction to the bloody episodes of last week by the African Union and the entire International Community as well as AU partners was, as he put it, the clearest manifestation that the world was closely watching the events in Darfur and sympathized with them fully.
He commended their courage and dedication to the cause of promoting and fostering peace in this part of the Sudan and pointed out that the disturbing eventualities should not intimidate them.
The team leader also told his audiences in the various sectors he visited that the PSC is currently studying several issues that concern the enhancement of their security and protection while on patrols and in this connection hoped that 105 Armored Personnel Carriers, a donation from the people and Government of Canada would soon be at their disposal.
The highlights of this tour was when the team paid a visit to Tine where they met and talked to the 38 freed AU abductees and their meeting in open country with Nigerian troops at Khor Abeche, the scene of the killings and battle nearly two weeks ago.
It is to be recalled that the team also met a Rwandese contingent at the Sector One, Zam Zam camp on the outskirts of El Fasher town, the South African troops at Kutum and the Gambian company at El Fasher and visited the nearby Abushouk IDP camp to see the situation on the ground.
On their way back to AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, the military experts had a stop over in Khartoum where they briefed the Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, about their mission.
El Fasher, Darfur, 19 October, 2005.