On Friday, officials in Brussels, Belgium, confirmed the European Union (EU) will provide up to $125 million to support African peacekeepers in Darfur.
The African Union's Peace and Security Council agreed Wednesday to increase its peacekeeping force in Darfur from 390 to 3,320 troops and civilian police. The one-year operation is to cost $220 million, mainly paid for by the EU and the United States.
Officials said besides the United States, Canada and Australia also had offered to help fly the African peacekeepers into Darfur. Much of the EU's financial aid would go to providing rations, shelter and fuel for the force, officials said.
The African Union force will include 450 unarmed military observers, a major increase from the 80 currently deployed to monitor a shaky cease-fire.
An armed security force of 310 troops has been protecting the observers. That force will be increased to 2,341. The new one-year mission will also include 815 civilian police officers and 164 civilian staff.
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UNITED STATES HAS PROVIDED OVER $300 MILLION
In aid for for Darfur and leads the world in responding to the crisis
On Friday, President Bush committed $2.5 million in military services to support the mission, and the U.S. government awarded $20.5 million in contracts to two U.S. companies to provide tents, electricity and other support. Although the European Union also announced it would spend $125 million to support the peacekeepers, the promised aid falls short of the African Union's request for $220 million.
Also on Friday, the White House urged the world community to work together to bring an end to the crisis and to respond generously to fund the vital programs that support the victims in both Chad and Sudan.
"We commend the African Union's efforts to stem the violence and call on the world to support their efforts," the statement added.