Sudan: Darfur Peacekeeping a Flop


November 13, 2005: In the last two months the African Union (AU) troops deployed in Darfur have suffered five killed in a ction (KIA). That's a very plausible casualty figure, given the level of violence and ambush tactics employed by both Darfurian rebels and government-backed "Moslem militias." What is disturbing: the same reports claimed the AU force has suffered 38 troops kidnapped. That's kidnapped, not captured. Assuming that kidnapped is the accurate term, three-dozen kidnapped troops is another indication that the many units in the AU force are any or all of the following: (1) very poorly trained, (2) poorly-led, (3) have a "nine to five" view of their mission (the "UN peacekeeping paycheck" syndrome). "Force Protection" (ie, self-protection, unit security and hence unit preservation) is a combat unit's first job. Troops get "kidnapped" when sentries fall asleep or are bribed, etcetera. We're seeing an increasing number of calls for more troops and for more "First World" troops. The Brookings Institution think tank said that the AU needs 20,000 troops in Darfur, not the current number (6,500 to 7,000).

November 12, 2005: Ugandan and Sudanese troops are cooperating in southern Sudan, to track down and kill Ugandan LRA rebels.

November 11, 2005: UNMIS (United Nations Mission in Sudan) only has 40 percent of its 10,000 man peacekeeper force in Darfur, but expects to have the rest within the next two months.

November 10, 2005: Horse-mounted raiders struck the Kalma refugee camp near Nyala in South Darfur. One person was murdered by the raiders.

November 7, 2005: Over the last two days, some 1,500 Arab militiamen attacked villages in South Darfur. Most of the militiamen were horse-borne, with some riding camels or riding in vehicles. Typically the camels and vehicles carry weapons and supplies; some of the vehicles also carry machine guns. The attackers killed 18 people living in six villages ( Dar es Salam, Jamali, Funfo, Tabeldyad, Um Djantara and Um Putrum.) In southern Sudan, a British aid worker was killed, in an ambush, by Ugandan LRA rebels operating in the area.


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