Press Releases

    SG/SM/9555
          AFR/1055
          22 October 2004

    Secretary-General Hails Decision to Deploy Expanded African Force in Darfur

    NEW YORK, 21 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement is attributable to the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    NEW YORK, 21 October (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General commends the African Union Peace and Security Council for its decision to deploy an expanded AU force of troops and police in Darfur.  He especially welcomes the broad mandate given to the AU Mission, which will provide protection to a larger number of AU monitors as well as civilians and humanitarian operations under imminent threat.  In the light of the growing insecurity in Darfur, the Secretary-General urges the AU to deploy this force speedily.

    The planned deployment requires complex and massive planning and logistical support.  The Secretary-General considers it essential that the African Union receive the urgent, adequate and continuing support of the international community, not only to quickly deploy but also to sustain effectively its mission.  This AU mission is crucial to enhancing security for the civilian population and for the effective provision of much-needed humanitarian assistance.  The United Nations will continue to offer the AU whatever assistance it can.  The Secretary-General urges all Member States with capacity urgently and generously to provide the required support.

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