Sudan: Phony Peace

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May 11, 2006: In the wake of the "partial" peace deal in Darfur, the US is once again urging the United Nations to provide troops for a Darfur peacekeeping operation. The UN wants to deploy a "robust" UN force, which some have interpreted to mean a force of at least 20,000 troops. The government has indicated that it would reconsider it position on a UN-sponsored peacekeeping force. What that means precisely ("reconsider") isn't clear. The government has been dead set against a UN force. The government did issue a statement on May 9 that is might discuss "UN involvement." The government has a record for sending "mixed signals" when it wants to create diplomatic and political obstacles for the UN.

May 9, 2006: The peace deal may have been signed but some parties refused to be included. Darfur's Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) Abdulwahid Al-Nur faction once again rejected the peace deal. The Abdulwahid Al-Nur's rival faction, the Minni Minnawi faction, signed the peace deal. The Al-Nur faction said that the peace agreement does not have a "clearly defined" way to disarm the Janjaweed militias (the Islamist militias backed by the Sudan government).

May 5, 2006: The Sudan government and the Minni Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) signed a peace agreement to end the fighting in Darfur. The diplomats congratulated one another. However, signing the agreement does not mean peace. The SLM/A's Abdulwahid Al-Nur faction refused to sign the agreement (though it has until May 15 to do so).

May 3, 2006: The Sudanese government reported that governors and representatives from ten southern Sudan states held a meeting in Juba. The leaders discussed two subjects that have long sparked tribal conflicts in the region: grazing rights and water rights. The leaders want to avoid future conflicts. The Sudan report said that the leaders also discussed the touchy subject of changing state borders. Many of the current borders divide tribes and split resources. One border issue involves an oil field. The report said that an oil field which had at one time been in Unity State was now in South Kordofan. Unity State now says the annexation is "unacceptable."

 

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