Sudan: June 21, 2004

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The government continues to delay relief efforts, while now insisting that it would disarm the  the Arab militias in western Sudan. The UN is calling for nations to contribute peacekeeping troops to police the peace deal just achieved in southern Sudan. The government is eager to see that peace agreement work, because the nations oil fields are in the south. The UN is threatening to punish Sudan with embargos, and so on, if something is not done about the ethnic cleansing in western Sudan (Darfur). The government took a chance in Darfur, trying to reward loyal, and powerful, Arab tribes by permitting them to steal the land of the non-Arab tribes. This plan has backfired because of all the attention the operation attracted.

Disarming the Arab militias will be dangerous, as the non-Arab tribal rebels in Darfur are still out there, and moving into areas that the Arab militias have moved out of. The Arab militias are the major pro-government military force in Darfur. If the government moves enough troops into Darfur to deal with the rebels and disarming the Arab militias, it will be very weak in southern Sudan. If the peace deal in southern Sudan falls apart, the rebels there could advance rapidly, and take the oil fields. 

 

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