Sudan: Effective Peacekeepers Not Wanted


February 24,2006: The government has made it clear that it would not approve the use of UN or Western peacekeepers in Darfur. This means the UN would have to "invade" Sudan to get effective peacekeepers into Darfur. This would cause an uproar among Moslem members of the UN, and is unlikely to be approved. Government backed bandits and militias continue to attack black tribes and refugee camps.

February 23, 2006: The Sudanese government said that it opposed turning over the peacekeeping operation in the Darfur region to the UN or other "international" agencies. The peacekeeping operation is currently run by the African Union (AU). A senior government official said that Sudan "strongly rejects" turning over the mission to the UN. The AU meets in early March and may recommend that the UN take control of the peacekeeping mission.

February 22, 2006: A cholera epidemic is has broken out in the south. At least a thousand cases have been reported, with approximately three-dozen deaths. An air lift from Nairobi, Kenya is delivering around 30 tons of medical supplies to the town of Juba, Sudan. This is the major town and refugee center in south Sudan, and for years the airfield there has served as a conduit for relief supplies to tribes affected by the "southern" civil war (to differentiate the conflict in the south from that in the east and the one in western Darfur).

February 21, 2006: The southern rebels accuse the army of violating the peace deal, and continuing to harass tribesmen living in the border area between rebel controlled territory, and what the government has always controlled. The government has long tried to push the black tribesmen further south, and move in Arab tribes.

February 18, 2006: US President George Bush said that an effective peacekeeping force in Darfur might require twice as many troops as the African Union currently has in Darfur. The AU currently has 7000 troops in Darfur.) NATO "stewardship" of the peacekeeping mission may also be required.

Bush put it bluntly: "The strategy was to encourage African Union troops to try to bring some sense of security to these poor people that are being herded out of their villages and terribly mistreated. The effort was noble, but it didn't achieve the objective."

"Stewardship" suggests that NATO may help coordinate training, communications, maintenance, and logistics for the expanded peace force.




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