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