31 May 2005 - NATO PA CALLS FOR CLOSE EU NATO COOPERATION ON DARFUR [PRESS COMMUNIQUE]
NATO Parliamentarians today (Tuesday) called for close co-operation between NATO and the European Union in answering a request from the African Union (AU) for help with the crisis in the Darfur region of Western Sudan.
Some 300 parliamentarians from NATO's 26 members unanimously backed a recent NATO decision to offer possible military support to the AU mission. The AU has requested help from the European Union, United Nations, NATO and several donor countries for its mission to try to end what has been called "the world's worst humanitarian crisis".
"The NATO Parliamentary Assembly encourages the European Union and NATO to work together in a spirit of cooperation and complementarity to provide the requisite logistical and financial support in areas such as strategic airlift; training in command and control, in operations planning, in the use of intelligence and in police," a resolution adopted by the plenary of the Assembly's Spring Session noted.
Its adoption followed a lively debate on the issue with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. "We would look ridiculous if - 10,000 people a day are dying - and we are not working very closely together on this," he said in reply to calls from the floor for close EU-NATO co-operation.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than one million people displaced during two years of conflict in Darfur, a region the size of France, following a rebellion against the Arab dominated government in Khartoum by local African tribes.