Home | News    Saturday 30 September 2006

EU loan saved Darfur peacekeeping mission - AU

Sept 29, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — A 30 million euro ($38 million) donation from the European Union has been key to extending a struggling pan-African peacekeeping force in Sudan’s violent Darfur region, the African Union (AU) said on Friday.

The EU is the African body’s top supporter, giving 243 million euros for peace operations.

The AU’s Peace and Security Commissioner Said Djinnit said Europe had been instrumental in funding AU operations across the continent.

"This is particularly true with the current efforts at peacekeeping in the Darfur region which enabled the AU to extend the mandate of the mission in Sudan by three months as a result of the contribution of 30 million euro by the EU," Djinnit said.

The mandate for the 7,000 AU troops was set to expire at the end of September, but was extended until December 31.

The underfunded mission has been unable to stop the violence that has driven 2.5 million people from their homes and left an estimated 200,000 dead since 2003.

(Reuters)