Ban welcomes US airlift to Darfur
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed on Wednesday US President George W Bush's decision to provide airplanes to airlift critical equipment to Sudan's troubled Darfur region, dpa reported according to the UN official website.
Ban said he warmly welcomed the decision to assist the deployment of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur, known as UNAMID.
"The expedited arrival to Darfur of this material, which includes trucks and other essential equipment, will strengthen the ability of the United Nations to protect civilians and carry out other aspects of its mandate," Ban said in a statement.
"This initiative sets a constructive precedent for broad international support to expeditiously deploy UNAMID, and the secretary general calls upon other member states to seriously consider undertaking similar efforts to expedite the full deployment of UNAMID," he said.
The UN Security Council has authorized up to 30,000 military and civilian personnel to be deployed to Darfur with the hope to end the ethnic conflict there. But only about one-third of the personnel have been deployed because of the severe lack of logistics and air transport, including helicopters.