Sudan: Exporting The War


October 30, 2006: The Arab League has tried to sponsor "reconciliation talks" between the Sudan government and the various rebel organizations it is at war with (including groups in Darfur). A new round of reconciliation talks is scheduled for November 2006. However, the Arab League is no longer as influential in Sudan as it once was. Why? Sudan's oil income. Sudan is now an oil exporter and no longer relies on the aid of wealthy Arab Muslim nations.

October 28, 2006: The government of Chad said that Sudanese Air Force planes bombed four border towns on the Sudan-Chad border. There were no casualty reports. Sudan denied the accusation. All four towns are located just inside Chad. Darfur rebels claimed on October 16 that the Sudan government would launch an offensive toward one of the towns. Chad said that earlier in the week its forces had repulsed an attack by Chadian rebels supported by the Sudan government.

Officials in the south Sudan government reported than five more people had been killed in an attack by "unidentified assailants." This attack took place near Juba, the main town in south Sudan. Last week 38 people were killed in ambushes. After last week's murders, 15 men were arrested. All 15 were members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), but were predominantly from southern tribes. The arrests obviously failed to stop the attacks. The UN issued a report that said it is "not clear" who is conducting the attacks. The government of Uganda claimed that the LRA was involved, but the LRA has denied that accusation.

October 27, 2006: UN diplomat Jan Pronk said that he had "no regrets" about posting information on his web log about the fighting in Sudan's Darfur region. The government expelled Pronk because he reported that the army had lost two battles in Darfur. Sudan has agreed that Pronk can return to Khartoum to officially turn over his job to his deputy, Taye Zerihoun.

October 26, 2006: China's official news agency issued a report on the Chinese military task force assigned to the south Sudan peacekeeping mission. China has 435 troops operating in and around the town of Wau. It's an engineer task force that includes transportation and medical personnel.

October 25, 2006: Sudan would allow an expanded African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Darfur, but opposes a UN peacekeeping force. The European Union, the EU, and even the Arab League could provide logistical support to the AU force. All support, however, must be conducted "in consultation" with the government. The AU has proved to be incapable of commanding the operation, which is the main reason the Sudan government would let it expand its forces. Without improved command and control, a reinforced AU contingent would still be ineffective. However, an AU force with adequate logistical support (which could mean not only more timely and adequate supply but improved mobility) might be more effective. That's why Sudan wants to control (as much as possible) the AU force's logistical support.

October 23, 2006: A UN report said that both sides in Darfur are receiving arms shipments and supplies. Darfur rebel groups (which did not sign the May 5 peace agreement) receive supplies through Chad. The Sudan government returns the favor by arming Chadian rebel groups. Sudan also arms the Janjaweed militias (though Sudan still denies it arms the Janjaweed).




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