The UN says that its "goal" of reaching 80 percent of UNAMID's authorized
peacekeeper force by the end of 2008 is "unlikely." Why? The lack of
infrastructure to support troops, police, and aid personnel in Darfur is one
reason. Nations have been slow to send contingents. As of mid-August, 9,900 of
the 26,000 soldiers and cops have deployed to Darfur. The Sudanese have
constantly interfered with the creation of UNAMID, and appear to be succeeding
in preventing the peacekeeper force from halting the government-sponsored
ethnic cleansing in Darfur. The government has also succeeded in getting the UN
and foreign donors to pay for supporting the displaced people in refugee camps.
The government has moved in more loyal tribes, to occupy the lands that had
been ethnically cleansed (pro-government Arab tribes, and their herds,
displaced black African farmers.)
2008: The government has a special dislike of the Darfur based Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the
JEM's big raid on Omdurman in May is one reason. The JEM is also increasingly
portraying itself as the "representative Darfur insurgent force." In March the
JEM declared that the government needed to meet with it in "one on one"
negotiations. The JEM has watched the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M)
degenerate into increasingly diffuse factions.
2008: Spokesmen for two Sudan Liberation Army/Movement factions claimed that
the Sudan government had launched "new offensives" in Darfur. One government
operation began in the El Atrun area on August 10 (North Darfur). This attack may have involved as many as 250
vehicles - suggesting a very large operation for Darfur, perhaps at the
regimental-level. Atrun isn't far from the Libyan border. A subsequent report
claimed that at least 80 civilians had been killed. The SLA also claimed
another government operation was occurring in Mahgoub Hussein.
2008: The has cracked down on an ivory smuggling ring. Describing the ivory
smugglers as "traders," the government said it had recovered "400 ivory
sculptures" and sacks of raw ivory. Killing elephants for ivory is an old
business but with the reduction of elephant herds and the rise of
environmentalism in general but environmental tourism in particular, nations
have made the "trade" illegal.
2008: The eight members of the JEM who were convicted of launching the May
attack on Omdurman have appealed their death sentences. So far 30 attackers
have been convicted by the government.
2008::The UN Security Council renewed its peacekeeping mandate for Darfur.
2008: The military confirmed that it had engaged in a firefight four days
earlier with the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minnawi faction, killing four rebel
fighters. This may be one of those chaotic encounters between security police
and rebel groups, but it could be more significant. The Minnawi faction, led by
Minni Arcua Minnawi, agreed to the 2006 peace deal.
2008: The Sudan Liberation Movement issued a statement claiming the Sudan Air
Force bombed the town of Karbala in
Darfur and killed three people. The attack occurred on either July 21 or 22.