Sudan: May 1, 2005


In the past month, the amount of violence in Darfur appears to have declined. But the Arab tribal militias are still out there, mainly lurking on the fringes of the refugee camps. The tactic seems to be keeping the refugees from returning to their burned out villages. The first task of the AU peacekeepers would be to drive the armed Arabs from the outskirts of the refugee camps. But a larger job would be protecting the refugees going back to their burned out villages. That would require five to ten times the number of peacekeepers planned. No one appears willing, or able, to provide that number of peacekeepers. The aid organizations are attempting to pacify the Arab nomads by drilling wells for them and supplying food. The violence in Darfur began as a dispute over land between Arab nomads (and their herds), and non-Arab farmers.


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