Sudan: Show Me The Money


May 2, 2006: The April 30 deadline for signing a Darfur peace deal passed without any agreement. The AU is sponsoring the peace negotiations. The two main rebel organizations have "reservations" about the draft agreement. The rebels want a deal more in line with what the SPLA rebels in south Sudan got (a vice presidency in the government, and over $70 million a month in oil money.)

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement did not issue detailed statements about their "reservations." The draft agreement would allow the people in the three provinces in Darfur to vote in 2010 on whether or not to combine the three into one large province. This might give Darfur more political clout. The deal also says that the Janjaweed militias will be disbanded. The Janjaweed are the various Islamist militias backed by the Sudan-government-- though the government denies that it supports the militias.

The problem with Darfur is that there's no there there. The SPLA threatens the oil fields in southern Sudan. The Darfur rebels threaten nothing as valuable. The government has basically told them to go pound sand. The UN is pleading for the rebels to make peace, so food, and other aid, can be brought in for the millions of refugees. American and European leftists are now calling for armed intervention in Darfur. But governments are wary of such an operation. For one thing, it's very difficult because of the logistics. And then there is the tendency of these same leftists, and their media allies, to turn on any government that does undertake such a military operation. It appears that the Sudanese will have to sort this one out themselves, while the rest of the world stands by and wrings their hands.

April 27, 2006: The UN daily food ration supplied to refugees in Darfur will be cut in half, beginning in a few weeks. The UN and World Food Program have been dealing with a funding issue for quite some time. The cut is an attempt to keep some food reserves available through July. The UN estimates that 6.1 million people in Sudan require food aid. The World Food Program said that the food supply effort in Sudan will cost around $750 million. The US has given $188 million. The EU has promised another $60 million and Great Britain is donating another $87 million. So where is the rest of the world as Darfur bleeds and starves? It's an old question.


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