Updated: 27-May-2005 NATO Update

26 May 2005

NATO Secretary General
pledges Darfur support

24/05/2005 - NATO
Statement by the Spokesman on NATO support to the African Union for Darfur
18/05/2005 - NATO
NATO to explore Darfur options
26/05/2005 - NATO
Speech by the Secretary General at the Pledging Conference for the AU Mission in the Sudan, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Monthly Briefing with NATO Spokesman
Speaking in Ethiopia on 26 May, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the Alliance was ready to help the African Union’s mission in Darfur with logistics and to assist in its training.

The Secretary General was taking part in an international donor’s conference in Addis Ababa for the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Broad options for support

The African Union is preparing to significantly expand its presence in Darfur in an attempt to halt the continuing violence, and has requested NATO support.

On 24 May, NATO’s North Atlantic Council agreed on initial military options for possible Alliance support, including strategic airlift; training, for example in command and control and operational planning; and improvement of the ability of the African Union’s mission in Darfur to use intelligence.

Mr. De Hoop Scheffer said that NATO “will consult in the coming days with the AU and others on how to transform these initial offers into concrete proposals responding to a specific request.”

The Secretary General stressed that the African Union remained “ in the driving seat to solve this difficult conflict ” and that the Alliance’s role is to contribute to strengthening the African Union’s capability to meet this challenge.

The conference was by chaired by United Nations Secretary General Annan and AU Commission President Konare.