Sudan: UN Peacekeepers Got The Bandit Blues


May 5,2008: In Darfur, rebels stole a UNAMID (UN peacekeeper) truck carrying supplies and weapons to a detachment of Chinese peacekeepers. Attempts to get the truck back are complicated by the fact that the rebels are often moonlighting bandits. It's often difficult to determine if an act of violence was committed while the gunmen were in bandit or rebel mode. This is important, as the rebel leaders at least pretend they have some control over their followers. The bandits obey no one.

May 2, 2008: In South Sudan, at least 23 people died in an airplane crash. South Sudan's minister of defense, Lieutenant General Dominic Dim Deng, was among the victims. The situation in southern Sudan is already tense, as the national census is under way.

May 1, 2008: North and South Sudan forces agreed to another "pullback" deal from disputed oil fields in Sudan's Unity State. The northern and southern troop units will be replaced by a "mixed force" (joint North-South force) to patrol the border area. Using jointly-manned forces in sensitive areas was part of the 2005 peace agreement, but actually deploying them has proved to be very difficult.

April 30, 2008: The UN Security Council extended for one year the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) peacekeeping operation. The operation deployed in 2005 to support the January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan's national government in Khartoum (really North Sudan) and Sudan's south. Since then the GOSS (Government of South Sudan) has increasingly exercised more than regional autonomy. The GOSS often acts a completely separate government. North and south Sudan, however, meet in the oil fields, and more war would reduce the petro-income.

April 29, 2008: Sudan Air Force aircraft bombed several villages in North Darfur State. At least three people were killed. The Sudanese Army denied that the air attacks had occurred, but on May 2 a UN observer group confirmed that the attacks had indeed occurred. In other words, the Sudanese military got caught in another lie about attacks in Darfur.

April 25, 2008: At least 120 have died in two armed clashes along the disputed North-South Sudan border in Unity State.


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