Sudan: Darfur Is Still Dying, And No Help Is On The Way


January17, 2007: Sudan and Iran signed what diplomats are calling a "memorandum of understanding" concerning defense. Basically, the agreement would expand "defense cooperation" between the two countries. The statement by Sudan emphasized "technical" and training exchanges.

Sudan denied a claim by Darfur rebels that its air force had launched an attack violating the new ceasefire agreement. The rebel faction claimed that Sudan Air Force transport bombed two rebel areas in North Darfur (Amrai and Anka) on January 16.

January 16, 2007: The UN and African Union (AU) met to "finalize" the "light support" phase of the UN-AU peacekeeping mission. The "light support" phase (also called "light support package") includes the first contingents of UN police and military personnel plus maintenance, transportation, and communications support equipment for the current AU-led force.

Meanwhile, 135 Chinese military troops departed China for south Sudan. The troops are part of China's peacekeeping contingent in the south. The new troops are "rotating in" to replace currently deployed peacekeepers. The Chinese contingent is "engineer-heavy" and has been involved in several construction projects in south Sudan.

Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) leader Abdelwahid al-Nur called on the European Union and NATO to "intervene in west Darfur." What made the SLM statement particularly interested was al-Nur's assertion that no UN troops would ever deploy to Darfur as long as the deployment requires the Sudan government's consent. NGOs and western press have already given al-Nur's statement a name, The Appeal of Paris (al-Nur made the statement in Paris, France). Al-Nur said the EU and NATO had to come to Darfur just like they did (eventually) in Bosnia. In addition, al-Nur said that the SLM's conditions for talks with the Sudan government included: (1) end "the daily killing" civilians in Darfur; (2) allow refugees and IDPs to go home; (3) let peacekeepers defend Darfur's civilians. Condition 3 might be acceptable to the Sudan government if it were an "all-African force." To defend civilians, however, would require thousands of more AU peacekeepers than are currently deployed.

January 15, 2007: Ten more UN military officers have joined the 38 UN military and police officers currently on observer duty in Darfur.

January 10, 2007: The Sudan government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel movement tentatively agreed to a new Darfur ceasefire proposal. Former US UN Ambassador Bill Richardson (who is currently the governor of New Mexico) was visiting Sudan when the announcement was made. Richardson said that the Sudan government might show flexibility in implementing the new agreement and might "expand" the May 5, 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement (original peace deal). Richardson said that a new ceasefire was, in his opinion, essential before any other progress could be made in Darfur. However, the JEM is only part of the rebel movement. The National Resistance Front and factions of the SLM are not part of the new deal.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close