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Press Release – AU Deputy Chairperson Concludes ‎His Visit in Darfur‎

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By Somalilandtimes network

El Fasher, Darfur, March 26, 2006 – His Excellency Mr. Patrick Mazimhaka the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union and his Delegation comprising among others Ambassador Corentin Kidoulaye the Head of the Darfur Integrated Task Force (DITF) and Madam Monique Mukaruliza the Deputy Head of Mission in Khartoum, on 26 March, 2006 concluded his two-day visit to Darfur after going through a heavy schedule of engagements begun on arrival at El Fasher on 25 March.

The distinguished visitor was received and warmly welcomed by the Acting Deputy Head of Mission who is also the Chairman of the AU Ceasefire Commission (CFC) Ambassador Hassan Gibril in the presence of the Force Commander Major-General Collins R.U. Ihekire, the Deputy Force Commander Brigadier-General Frank Kamanzi, the Chief of Staff Colonel Alexander Bentil as well as by Senior Military and CivPol Officers.

He was then extensively briefed by officers from the Military, CivPol, the CFC and the Joint Logistics Operation Centre (JLOC) on, inter alia, the security and humanitarian situation, challenges, constraints and problems, logistics and administrative issues across the mission area. It was noted that the security situation had improved due to the presence of AMIS and that IDPs were now gradually returning to their homes. The CivPol were also commended for their contribution in the IDP camps.

The Deputy Chairperson met with the Wali(Governor) of North Darfur State at his Chambers and informed him, as he had done earlier at Force Headquarters, that his visit to Darfur comes in the wake of the recent decision by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) to support in principle the transition from AMIS to a UN Operation, within the framework of the partnership between the AU and the United Nations in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa and that in this connection it was imperative to meet and discuss pertinent issues with all those concerned in Darfur in order to chart the way forward.

He expressed profound gratitude and thanks through the Wali to the Government of the Sudan for the cooperation and material support rendered to AMIS since its inception in Darfur.

The Darfurian leader on his part reiterated the current Sudanese stance that foreign forces were unwelcome on their territory and that to this effect only the African Union through AMIS could be trusted to bring about durable peace, security and normalcy in the troubled Darfur region. He praised the work that AMIS has and is still doing in the promotion of security and stability and hoped that the Inter-Sudanese Talks currently going on in the Nigerian capital of Abuja will yield more and better dividends for the Darfurians.

During his deliberations with the Wali of Nyala in south Darfur on 26 March, 2006, H.E. Mazimhaka said among other things that the African Union decided to set up AMIS to assist brothers and sisters in the Sudan to resolve their conflicts without any outside intervention and in this connection praised efforts being exerted by local leaders in Nyala to promote and encourage tribal reconciliation talks as their success will have a great bearing on the Abuja peace initiative.

The Wali commended the efforts by the AU Ceasefire Commission for spearheading the idea of reconciliation talks adding that the African Union is the only acceptable body that can bring stability and peace in Darfur.

The Deputy Chairperson also addressed troops in Zamzam Sector 1 headquarters 20 minutes drive from Force Headquarters, at Sector 2 in Nyala and at the Forward Operational Base (FOB) where he wished out-going Nigerian Battalion 4 troops journey mercies.

26 March, 2006, El Fasher, Darfur

Justin Thundu, Senior Public Affairs and Information Officer

Tel: +2499 1122 2020

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