1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the statement by the President of the Security Council issued on 19 December 2006 (S/PRST/2006/55), in which the Council endorsed the conclusions of the 16 November 2006 high-level consultation on Darfur, held in Addis Ababa. The Addis Ababa conclusions called for a comprehensive approach to the peace process in Darfur, including re-energizing the political process, strengthening the ceasefire and a three-phased approach to peacekeeping, culminating in an African Union-United Nations hybrid operation. The conclusions of the high-level consultation were also endorsed at the 66th meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council, held on 30 November 2006 in Abuja. The Council of Ministers of the Government of the Sudan subsequently endorsed the Addis Ababa and Abuja decisions on 3 December 2006.
2. The present report proposes a mandate and a structure for the hybrid operation in Darfur and provides details on the various components of the proposed operation and their specific tasks. Additionally, the report describes the ongoing efforts of the international community to support the peace process in Darfur and to strengthen the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS).
3. After the signing of the N'Djamena Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of the Sudan, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) in April 2004 and the follow-up agreement of 28 May 2004, the African Union deployed AMIS and gradually expanded it to its current strength of over 7,000 personnel, including 5,197 protection-forces personnel, 946 military observers and 1,360 civilian police.
4. As the observer mission evolved into a complex peacekeeping operation, and owing to uncertainty regarding its financial sustainability, the African Union Peace and Security Council, in its 12 January 2006 communiqué, expressed its support, in principle, for a transition from AMIS to a United Nations operation. That decision was subsequently reiterated in the Peace and Security Council communiqué of 10 March 2006, which called for the transition of AMIS to a United Nations operation. Such a transition was also endorsed by the United Nations Security Council in its presidential statement of 3 February 2006 (S/PRST/2006/5) and its resolutions 1663 (2006) and 1679 (2006). In its resolution 1679 (2006), the Council called for a joint African Union-United Nations technical assessment mission to the Sudan/Darfur to assess the requirements for strengthening AMIS and the possible transition of AMIS to a United Nations peace operation.
5. On the basis of the recommendations of the joint African Union-United Nations technical assessment mission conducted in June 2006 and the report of the Secretary-General of 28 July 2006 (S/2006/591), on 31 August 2006 the Security Council adopted resolution 1706 (2006), in which it authorized the expansion of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) into Darfur and invited "the consent of the Government" for the deployment of a multidimensional United Nations peace operation in Darfur. However, the Government of the Sudan did not give its consent.