With tensions persisting in Sudan’s Darfur province, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged more resources for the African Union (AU) mission in the region, while the Security Council considered future plans, including a possible United Nations force there.As I mentioned last week, the AU says it will run out of fund for its mission in Darfur in March. Given the Security Council's reluctance to deal with Darfur, any eventual hand-over to UN troops probably wouldn't even happen this year.
“The Security Council is fully seized of this matter, and is looking at ways and means of strengthening the peacekeeping operations on the ground,” Mr. Annan told reporters in New York. “For the immediate we will need to ensure that the African Union forces have all the support – financial, logistical and material that they need.
“So we need to take immediate measures to strengthen the African Union, give them the support necessary whilst we work on the future plans for the Security Council,” he said.
So Annan is basically asking member nations to start fully-funding the AU mission so that they can hang on long enough to transfer the mission over to the UN.
The current AU mission's strength and mandate is well below what every expert says is necessary, and yet it is still being underfunded. If member nations were actually taking the situation in Darfur seriously, they would have been funding the AU mission fully all along.
But since the international community has half-assed the AU mission in Darfur, it is now going to be dumped into the UN's lap.
So either they start funding the AU mission fully, in which case, the need for a UN mission lessens or the UN gets to pay for the entire thing and staff it with UN troops.
Take your pick.