Sudan: Peace Deal Has Increased Violence

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August 15, 2006: The situation in Sudan's western Darfur region has gone from bad to worse. Renewed violence has either stymied or stopped food and relief aid deliveries to three million refugees and displaced people in the region. The May 5 peace agreement (Darfur Peace Agreement, or DPA) has not brought peace. For example, attacks on African Union (AU) peacekeepers were up 900 percent over the same period last year. Last year, attacks on AU peacekeepers occurred but were rare. Though the peace agreement was signed over three months
ago, the Sudanese government has yet to produce a plan to disarm the pro-government militias in the region. In terms of the number of aid workers killed, July 2006 was in deed the worst month since the Darfur tragedy began in early 2003. Eight aid workers were killed. The UN estimates that there are 14,000 aid workers in the Darfur region.
August 12, 2006: The Sudan government said that it had arrested the alleged murderer of a UN translator. The UN translator was murdered in May during a riot that took place on May 9. The protestors were opposed to the May 5 Darfur Peace Agreement.
On, the other hand, the 2005 south Sudan peace deal is being implemented, albeit slowly. One of the biggest problems in south Sudan is integrating former southern rebels into Sudan's national forces. This is always a problem after a civil war. The US consulting firm DynCorp International has been hired to help retrain members of the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). DynCorp will help reshape the guerilla organization into a conventional military force. The contract includes building infrastructure (barracks) as well as training.
August 11, 2006: Sudan expects to conclude a peace deal with the Eastern Front rebel organization sometime in October. Eritrea is acting as mediator in these talks. The peace agreement will likely include the deployment of Eritrean military officers as ceasefire observers in eastern Sudan.
August 9, 2006: The UN has accused the government of lying. The lie that the government insists that a UN-led peacekeeping force in Darfur would amount to an "invasion:" by Western imperialists. For the past six months, the government has covertly and overtly opposed a UN-led peacekeeping force, and has frequently the accusation that a UN force amounts to "European imperialism." The accusation is absurd but it does get some sympathy from African nations that were once part of a European empire. What Sudan really fears is the effectiveness of French and German troops. The European troops would be more than a match for the Janjaweed militias that have terrorized Darfur since early 2003.

 

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