Sudan: Peace Deal Was Just Paper Work

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July 21, 2006: The May 5 Darfur peace agreement is not working. Violence, in fact, appears to be increasing once again. A tribal leader (Masalit tribe, South Darfur) said the peace agreement has proved to be "just paperwork." South Darfur is reportedly experiencing a new wave of attacks by the Sudan-government backed Janajaweed militia. Many of these reports and claims are fragmentary, but UN humanitarian services have been interrupted by the fighting and ambushes. Despite the fragmentary and often unconfirmed reports, it is clear that the Sudan government has not disarmed the Janjaweed militia. Likewise, African Union (AU) peacekeepers have proved to be very ineffective. The AU peacekeepers complain that they were sent to Darfur to observe a ceasefire. The AU forces lack trained troops. Their firepower has proved to be insufficient firepower and the troops they do have lack mobility.
July 19, 2006: Seven civilians and four soldiers died in a shoot out between members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and SPLA in the south Sudan town of Rubkona. Apparently a fistfight between a SAF soldier and an SPLA member led to the firefight.
July 17, 2006: The Sudan government reported that trouble continues between two DInka sub-tribes, the Agok and Agar. Several fights between the sub-tribes have broken out in Sudan's Lakes state, leaving several tribesman injured. The sub-tribes have long sparred over pasture rights and water resources. The problem is exacerbated by the presence of automatic weapons and demobilized soldiers and guerillas. These disputes can rapidly escalate into mini-wars that are quite deadly.
July 16, 2006: Sudan's Darfur region needs peacekeepers, and Sudan is being pressured to accept Moslem peacekeepers from Moslem countries. Sudan claims that a UN force using European troops amounts to "recolonization." It is believed that Turkey, Pakistan, and Bangladesh might provide troops. Both Pakista and Bangladesh have significant troop commitments serving with the UN in the Congo.
July 15, 2006: The African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur needs more money. The AU force costs about $29 million a month. However, the AU should deploy more troops and that will add to the cost. The EU has given the AU over $330 million in military aid to the AU for the peacekeeping mission since 2004.

 

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