The UN told the government that the UN's "three phase" plan for
creating a "hybrid" UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur must be
accepted "in its entirety." The Sudanese said they would accept the UN force,
but in the past the government has found ways to block UN operations, after
agreeing to allow them.
UN statement is a response to government attempts to block the UN force
or limit the UN's role to an ill-defined support function. The AU and UN produced
the plan on November 16. In late November the AU's Peace and Security Council
reaffirmed the goal of a "hybrid" peacekeeping force. Sudan has a seat on the
AU's Peace and Security Council. However, Sudan maintains it has never agreed
to a non-AU peacekeeping force. Sudan has continued to spar over the
peacekeeping force with the AU, the UN leadership, UN Security Council, the US
government, and several West European governments.
UN's "three phase" peacekeeping plan ultimately provides for more than
logistical support. Improved training, improved command and control, and
improved mobility are part of the "entirety." The personnel complement in phase
one is very small: 105 military, 33 policemen, and 48 staff members. The AU
peacekeepers would also receive another 36 armored personnel carriers. Phase
one would supply the AU peacekeepers with Global Positioning equipment (GPS)
which would improve both the ability to navigate and command troops.
Adding GPS also makes it easier to support peacekeepers on the ground with air
support (because the pilots know immediately where the ground forces are
second phase would add more UN military troops and police (the exact number is
unstated, but a fair guess is 400 to 800 more, in other words, a battalion). In
addition, the force would be beefed up with helicopters, other aviation assets,
and logistical support units (more trucks). The aviation and logistics units
would add more personnel.
third phase would be the creation of a joint AU-UN peacekeeping command.
believes that this plan is amounts to "letting the camel poke his nose in the
tent." The AU-UN force on the ground could then be easily reinforced by larger
UN military contingents. On this count the Sudan government is right.
22, 2006: The rebel Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) rejected the Sudan
government's claim that 200 rebels died in a firefight near Kutum. The rebel
statement claimed they had driven off a janjaweed militia force. The rebels
also claimed they had shot down two government helicopters.
21, 2006: The government claimed that its forces in Darfur stopped a rebel
attack on the towb of Kutum in North Darfur. The government statement said that
200 rebels belonging to the SLM/A died in the attack. Four Sudanese soldiers
died in the attack.
20, 2006: The UN withdrew 71 aid workers from the Gereida camp area in South
Darfur. This was the eighth UN "evacuation" of aid and support personnel from
Darfur in the last four weeks. The UN statement reported that "gunmen" had
attacked the workers compound and had stolen vehicles and cash. Direct attacks
on aid workers in Darfur have been increasingly common over the past four
years. There are several reasons for this. First of all, the May 5 peace
deal has completely collapsed. Second, the UN Security Council is advocating a
UN takeover of peacekeeping operations in Darfur, and the government objects.
It appears someone in the government has given a nod to the janjaweed
militias to "up the pressure" on the UN. That "pressure" is designed to get the
UN to back off. Of course, increasing pressure on aid workers increases the
pressure on UN leaders to provide increased security.