Together with the European Union, NATO has been assisting the African Union (AU) expand its peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan, since June 2005. The Alliance has been airlifting AU peacekeepers into the region and providing training to the African Union in running a multinational military headquarters and managing intelligence.
From July to October 2005, NATO helped to provide airlift into Darfur for almost 5000 AU peacekeepers, significantly boosting the force on the ground in an attempt to halt the continuing violence in the region. Since February 2006, the Alliance has been providing airlift for the rotation of troops in and out of Darfur. In addition, several hundred AU officers have taken part in training organised by NATO.
No NATO troops have been deployed to Darfur. The coordination of NATO's airlift is done from Europe and both NATO and EU staff are supporting a special AU air movement cell, which has been set up at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Staff capacity-building workshops for AU officers have been organised in Addis Ababa and at the AU's forward headquarters in El Fashir, Sudan.
In June 2006, Allied defence ministers agreed to the African Union's request for additional assistance with the certification of troops that are earmarked for the peacekeeping force, with developing arrangements to ensure that lessons are learned from the ongoing operation, and with setting up a Joint Operations Centre.