International Development written question – answered on 19th December 2006.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the African Union's (AU) capacity to (a) manage and (b) apply effectively funding from the UN for its mission in Darfur; whether the AU troops in Darfur have been paid for the last six months; and what prospects there are for such payments over the next six months.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

The United Nations does not currently fund the operations of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), but it will fund the support that it provides to the mission. The Addis Ababa High Level Consultation on Darfur of 16 November agreed that the United Nations be requested to fund a hybrid AU-UN Peacekeeping Force for Darfur. This funding will require agreement in the General Assembly and would need to be accompanied by UN financial management and controls to ensure that it was applied effectively. Difficulties with the African Union's financial reporting have led to stalled funding from the European Commission for the payment of troop salaries, and the Commission are planning to send financial experts to assist the AU in addressing this problem. The UK cash contribution of £13.5 million will include payment of salaries owed from 20 October for a period of eight to nine weeks. Funding for AMIS' extended mandate from 1 January is yet to be confirmed: the UK is looking at making a further contribution and we are encouraging all partners to do the same.

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