Sudan: August 28, 2004


The UN now presides over an empire of some 147 refugee camps in Darfur, and is building a fleet of nearly a thousand trucks for bringing in supplies. The number of refugees is now thought to be 1.4 million. The government has held public ceremonies where several hundred members of Arab militias in Darfur have "surrendered" the weapons previously given to them by the government. Meanwhile, these militia operate from eleven of their own camps in Darfur, as well as from five army bases in the area. The UN is threatening to impose sanctions on Sudan if the Arab militias are not disbanded, but there is no sign that this is going to happen. And the tribes the militias got their manpower from are taking over the land formerly occupied by non-Arab Sudanese. Thus the government's strategy appears to be going through the motions in complying with UN demands, while allowing the Arab militias to continue as before, and let the displaced people become wards of the UN. Sudan appears confident that it's allies in the UN (the other Arab countries, plus Russia and China) will prevent any sanctions being imposed. 


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