Minister Kitt meets humanitarian agencies re Darfur and urges Security Council to stand firm
The Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Tom Kitt T.D., today met with representatives of Irish and international humanitarian agencies to discuss the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan.
At the meeting, Minister Kitt noted a number of recent positive developments in Darfur – the air-dropping by the UN of food to thousands of people cut off by insecurity and the rainy season; the agreement reached in the past 24 hours between Sudanese Foreign Minister Ismail and UNSG Annan’s Special Representative Jan Pronk on detailed steps to be taken by the Sudanese Government to improve security in Darfur; the UN Security Council resolution demanding that the Government of Sudan disarm and bring to justice the Janjaweed militias within 30 days.
However Minister Kitt also noted that the humanitarian situation remained very grave and that concerted action was required to save lives. In particular, the Government continues to be concerned about issues of protection and security. The Minister urged the UN Security Council members to stand firm on Darfur and to follow through on their promise to take action against Sudan if the militias are not disarmed by the end of August.
Minister Kitt said he was very encouraged by the continued role of the African Union in seeking to find a solution to the Darfur conflict.
“The African Union-led military observer mission in Darfur was the first of its kind and is an important and exciting example of African-led solutions to African conflicts. It is critical that we support the work of African organisations to solve conflicts in Africa.”
Note for Editors:
The EU has committed nine military observers to the African Union’s ceasefire monitoring mission – one of whom is an Irish Commandant - and has allocated €12 million euros to the mission. An EU civil-military team is currently in the region to discuss with the AU how best to utilise EU support and what further measures might be taken.
Bilaterally, Ireland has allocated almost €5.9 million in emergency humanitarian assistance for Darfur. This funding is being delivered through key UN Agencies such as the WFP, UNOCHA and international and Irish NGOs.
The humanitarian agencies represented at today’s meeting were Concern, Dóchas, Goal, Oxfam, Trócaire and UNICEF.