Sudan: February 27, 2005

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The UN intends to send 10,000 troops to southern Sudan to monitor the Sudan-SPLA peace agreement (signed on January 9, 2005). The force will hit the ground sometime within the next six months. The UN believes the peace process in south Sudan remains fragile because there is potential for spoilers in the souththus the need for peacekeeping troops. The draft of the Security Council resolution for organizing the new peacekeeping force "left open" the possibility that some of the force could deploy to western Sudan (Darfur-- where genocide continues). 10,000 troops is a big UN force and it will require a lot of logistics support. To support a force like that in southern Sudan will require US military muscle. This past week UN peacekeeping officials had several previously scheduled meetings with the Pentagon and US State Department. Its a good bet logistics support was on the agenda. A subsequent press report said the UN south Sudan operation might include a police and investigative unit that will "monitor" the conduct of peacekeeping troops and UN personnel. This is of course a response to the sex crimes and corruption found in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo. Where will the troops for the new south Sudan operation come from? A very good question. On February 1 Japan said that it would consider providing troops to a Sudan mission. The Japanese said that they had been "sounded out" by the UN. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces are well-trained and disciplined. Since Japan's parliament revised military deployment laws (December 2001-- the Peacekeeping Operation Cooperation Law) Japan's forces have been "more available" for UN peacekeeping ops.

 

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