Sudan: April 9, 2005


At least 350 pro-Sudan government militiamen attacked the south Sudan village of Khor Abeche on April 7. The attack was allegedly launched as "retaliation" for the theft of 150 head of cattle. The attackers rode camels and horses. The militia were apparently from "the Miseriyya tribe of Niteaga." A government statement said the raiders devastated the village, but left the mosque and a school yard untouched.

On March 24 the UN Security Council voted to send peacekeeping troops to help enforce the south Sudan peace agreement. UN Security Council Resolution 1590 authorized the 10,000 military peacekeepers recommended in February. The peacekeeping operation will be called The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). It is conceivable that the south Sudan peacekeeping force could "assist" African Union peacekeepers in Darfur, although some UN officials are talking openly of  UN peacekeepers getting involved in Darfur. But UNMIS' first mission is to monitor and verify the southern ceasefire agreement. It will also help demobilize "ex-combatants" (presumably SPLA guerrillas). The Security Council's peacekeeping mandate relies on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which is more "aggressive" than Chapter 6. Most peacekeeping ops are run under Chapter 6, but after the continuing troubles in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Security Council may have decided to give the Sudan mission more immediate authority to use force.

There will also be a sizeable civilian police contingent (of up to 715 policemen). Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Sweden will supply police officers in the Sudan effort. 

How long will it take to put the 10,000 troops and 715 police in the field? The UN said "several months." That's fair-- if several means six or more. The UN report acknowledged logistical difficulties. However, the logistics net in south Sudan can supply the 10,000 troop contingent-- there are roads and airfields that can be improved. Darfur is another matter. 

The UN said the 10,000 peacekeeping troops will be provided by Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Cambodia (about a company), Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Rumania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


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