OTTAWA - Canada has committed $48 million to support African Union peacekeeping efforts in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay announced the funding late Thursday amid continued civil strife in Darfur.

"Canada is gravely concerned about the ongoing international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses in Darfur, and condemns continued ceasefire violations by all parties," MacKay said during question period.

He said the new funding is aimed at helping the African Union mission in Sudan to "enhance the protection of civilians and to facilitate safe, unhindered humanitarian access to affected populations in urgent need."

Since 2004, Canada has pledged more than $190 million to the African Union mission in Sudan, and has provided military equipment, helped train African peacekeepers, and provided food, water, sanitation, and basic health care.

Canada has also sent several dozen military observers to Sudan.