UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will start a trip to Ethiopia and Sudan this week to seek help for Darfur, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced on Monday.
The Secretary-General will co-chair a pledging conference on Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to support the African Union's ( AU) mission in the Darfur region of western Sudan, Dujarric told reports.
From Addis, Annan will go to Sudan's capital, Khartoum, troubled Darfur and southern Sudan's newly peaceful Rumbek, the spokesman said, adding that in Khartoum Annan is scheduled to meet Sudanese government officials, AU officials and UN system representatives.
Annan is returning to Darfur after a visit last July "to see at first hand one of the world's worst humanitarian crises and the progress being made in meeting the people's needs on the ground," Dujarric said.
The Secretary-General was also hoping to rally support for the AU's peacekeeping presence, revitalize the AU-mediated, but stalled political negotiations and focus attention on humanitarian needs, the spokesman added.