Ban Ki-moon hails UN-AU partnership in peace building

Addis Ababa- Ethiopia (PANA) -- Collaboration between the African Union (AU) and the United Natons (UN) has entered a historic new phase, following the transfer of authority from the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to the UN-AU Haybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here Thursday.
"Close partnerships are crucial for addressing the continent's peace and security challenges," Ki-moon told African leaders at their 10th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU.
"The challenges ahead in Darfur are enormous, and the continuing insecurity poses high risks to our peacekeeping efforts.
"Full cooperation of the government of Sudan is critical.
Likewise, timely provision of key assets such as helicopters and heavy transport equipment is essential," he said, noting that the UN and the AU have a long-standing and fruitful collaboration in the field of peace and security.
Paying tribute to the brave men and women of AMIS, some of whom lost their lives, Ki-moon assured the Summit that the UN was determined to build on the foundation that AMIS laid down in Darfur.
"I urge troop and police contributing countries assembled here today to speed up the required preparations, and arrive in the theatre of operations as soon as possible.
The people of Darfur depend on you," said Ban.
The UN and the AU have been working closely together to strike a negotiated settlement to the Darfur crisis through negotiations being held in Sirte, Libya, with opposing parties and the Sudanese government.
While international attention focused on Darfur, Ban said that it was vital to support fully the broader peace process in Sudan as the UN and the AU were also working hard to support implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in South Sudan.
On other conflict areas in Africa, including the DR Congo, northern Uganda and in Somalia, Ban said that efforts to bring about peace depended on the political will of the countries concerned.
Citing Ethiopia and Eritrea, he said the the role of the UN peacekeeping mission in the two neighbouring countries "is critically dependent on the cooperation and goodwill of the two countries -- as indeed is the final resolution of the [border] dispute between them.
" Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General has said the UN is striving to ensure more effective support to countries in transition from war to lasting peace.
These include Burundi, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau -- the first three countries on the agenda of the UN Peace building Commission.

31 january 2008 11:08:00




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