Darfur's various rebel groups are once again discussing forming a
"united front." The rebels recognize that a new round of peace talks with the
Sudan government is increasingly likely. Sudan has been exploiting differences
between the rebel factions. Senior leaders in the Justice and Equality Movement
(JEM) have met with leaders of several Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M)
factions. Some rebel field commanders have participated in talks held in
Tanzania (and sponsored by the UN and AU).
The government believes it has already won. Most of
the non-Arab Darfur tribes (over two million people) have been driven into UN
administered refugee camps, and Arab tribes are being brought in to take over
the abandoned villages and lands. The government believes the peacekeepers will
not be able to remove the new Arab migrants, so that the black Sudanese
refugees can get their land back. The government will just leave the black
tribesmen in the refugee camps, to be paid for by the UN.
August 2, 2007: Indonesia, France, and Denmark have
promised to send troops to serve with an AU-UN peacekeeping force Darfur. The
Indonesian troops are particularly welcome since it is a Moslem country.
Britain indicated that it would not send ground combat forces. That has also
been the U.S. unofficial position. Britain has
promised $200 million in reconstruction aid. The U.S. and Britain have
said they will provide support to the AU-UN force. That's important, because
the U.S. Air Force is the only outfit with sufficient transport planes to
support a 22,000 to 26,000 troop force in Sudan's isolated Darfur region. The
RAF also has a robust airlift capability, at least compared to other European
nations. Australia has promised medical personnel. The UN is looking to African
Union nations plus Sweden, Holland, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Poland, South
Africa, and Thailand to provide additional peacekeepers.
August 1, 2007: The government said that it would
"cooperate" with the African Union and the UN in the deployment of an AU-UN
peacekeeping force in Darfur. The government has said this before, and managed
to find a way to renege. On July 31 the UN Security Council authorized the
combined force. The force could include up to 19, 500 military personnel and
over six thousand police.
July 31, 2007: Britain's new prime minister
declared that the situation in Darfur is the world's biggest humanitarian
disaster the world faces today.
July 30, 2007: Members of south Sudan's government
are becoming increasingly disgruntled. The south Sudan government is acting
more and more like the South Sudan government—that is, an independent
government. However, south Sudanese leaders have also assured the national
government that they intend to remain part of Sudan. Still, the southerners
complain that the national government
has not fulfilled key commitments of the January 2005 Comprehensive
Peace Agreement. One of the problems is in the Abyei region, which is an oil
producing region. Southern Sudan is supposed to share in oil revenue. The south
and the north are wrangling over the work of a boundary demarcation commission
which was supposed to divide Abyei's oil fields. Another problem areas is
regularly mentioned: failure to disarm pro-government militias.