New York, 31 December 2008 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Darfur – UNAMID deploymentThe United Nations is pleased to confirm that 12,374 military personnel have been deployed to UNAMID (African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur), representing 63 percent of the Mission's authorized military strength of 19,555 personnel. The Secretary-General applauds the efforts of UNAMID and troop-contributing countries in reaching this target in the face of serious difficulties, including the volatile security situation in Darfur. The Secretary-General notes that the sustained cooperation of the Government of Sudan during the past few months has been important in achieving this level of deployment.
To ensure that the Mission continues to grow and reach full strength, troop- and police-contributing countries will have to work together with the United Nations to expedite the deployment of all outstanding capabilities. At the same time, the active cooperation of the Government of Sudan will continue to be crucial.
The Secretary-General stresses that, as we go forward, an important requirement will be to consolidate the capabilities of the troops currently on the ground.
The Secretary-General remains concerned that the fighting in Darfur will continue, innocent civilians will suffer, and UNAMID and humanitarian personnel will remain under threat as long as the parties fail to seriously engage in political dialogue. In this context, the Secretary-General urges the parties to work with the Joint Chief Mediator towards a comprehensive political solution.
Statements on 31 December 2008