Sudan: Peace Deals Collapsing

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April 6, 2006: The peace deal with the southern rebels is falling apart. The government is not honoring key aspects of the deal, especially those involving integrating rebels into the army, and hiring, and paying, southerners to perform government jobs. While the rebels have disarmed, the government has not. A resumption of the civil war would begin with a lot of death and destruction in the south.

April 5, 2006: African Union (AU) peacekeepers serving in Sudan's Darfur region are being investigated for corruption and sexual abuse (charges similar to those faced by UN peacekeepers in the Congo). The AU mission in Sudan is conducting the investigation.

As a result of much diplomatic pressure, the government has relented and allowed UN representative Jan Egeland access to Sudan and Darfur.

April 4, 2006: The first contingents of Chinese peacekeepers began arriving in south Sudan. The Chinese troops will serve with the UN peacekeeping mission in south Sudan. By the end of May, 400 Chinese troops will deploy with the force.

Fourteen months after the helicopter crash which killed SPLA leader John Garang, the Sudan government concluded a "final report" on the incident. Though the document has not been released, government sources said the most likely cause was "pilot error." The helicopter carrying Garang crashed into a mountain near the Uganda-Sudan border.

Peace talks with rebels in eastern Sudan have gone nowhere, and the government has been arresting leaders of the eastern rebel groups. Fighting could restart soon.

April 3, 2006: Some 6300 troops are now serving with the UN peacekeeping force in south Sudan.

The UN is not happy with Sudan's decision, yesterday, to deny UN representative Jan Egeland access to Sudan and Darfur. The government objects to the UN proposal that the UN take control of the Darfur peacekeeping operation. The African Union has proved to be incapable of stopping the war in Darfur -- which is fine with the Sudanese government. The UN, however, intends to deploy at least two Western European battalion-sized task forces and sufficient aviation assets to halt the attacks by the Sudanese-backed Islamist militias.

March 30, 2006: Chadian government forces skirmished with these Chadian rebels along the Sudan-Chad border south of the town of Adre. The government claimed the rebels were supported by Sudan. UN and western sources estimate that up to 8000 Chadian rebels are now in Sudan's Darfur region.

 

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