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Security Council urges Annan to begin planning AMIS transition

2/7/2006 7:24am

NAIROBI, 6 Feb 2006 (IRIN) - The United Nations Security Council has asked the Secretary-General to begin contingency planning on options for the possible transition from an African Union-led mission to a UN operation in the strife-torn western Sudanese region of Darfur.

"Such planning should be undertaken on the basis of a unified, integrated approach," said the US's John Bolton, Council President for February.

Bolton said the Council would be engaged throughout the transition process, which would involve, among other things, an assessment of the essential tasks to be carried out in southern Sudan and Darfur with a view to re-allocate existing troops and assets to the maximum extent practicable.

"The Security Council commends the efforts of the African Union for successful deployment of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and for significant contribution to the provision of a secure environment for civilians and the humanitarian situation in Darfur," he added. "The Security Council welcomes the African Union Peace and Security Council's recognition of the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa."

He stressed the importance of urgently reaching a successful conclusion of the Abuja talks and called on all parties to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a peace accord as soon as possible.

"The Security Council reiterates in the strongest terms the need for all parties in Darfur to end the violence and atrocities," he said.

Analysts have credited the 6,964-strong AMIS - which began operations in Darfur in August 2004 - with helping to calm the situation in some areas of the region, allowing for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the region's war-affected populations.

"The Security Council emphasises the importance of maintaining strong support for AMIS until any eventual transition is completed," Bolton said.


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