Sudan: The UN Can Complain, But Cannot Fight

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March 13, 2007: The government has called the UN's Darfur peacekeeping plan a "set back" to peace. Sudan contends that the UN's November 2006 plan (which Sudan begrudgingly agreed to) commits the UN to providing the African Union (AU) peacekeepers with only "technical and financial assistance." Moreover, Sudan says the UN committed to continued AU command of the peacekeeping operation in Darfur. The UN and US see this as "more of the same" from the Sudanese government -ie, a political and propaganda effort to derail a UN-led peacekeeping effort. The UN has now openly accused Sudan of mass murder in Darfur, and called for the most strenuous measures to stop the violence. But as long as Sudan has the Arab world and China in its corner, the UN can do nothing but complain.

March 11, 2007: The UN said that it is considering a large-scale airlift to help move "tens of thousands" of displaced people in south Sudan. The long south Sudan civil war has left several hundred thousand people displaced. The operation would move people from northern Sudan back to the south. Why an airlift? The rainy season is the answer. Logisticians the UN asked to do the study concluded that an airlift would be the best way to move people during the rainy season. Health of the refugees in transit and providing adequate food provisions during a journey facing long delays are other likely factors behind the recommendation.

March 10, 2007: Sudan claimed that Darfur rebels in the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) killed two African Union peacekeepers. The alleged attack took place in West Darfur state. No other information was provided.

March 7, 2007: Sudan claimed that Ugandan LRA rebels "looted" a town in Western Equatoria state. The government also claimed that the LRA was active in Eastern Equatoria state and was "destabilizing" that region. The LRA depredations are the main reason Sudan ordered the LRA out of south Sudan, despite the problems that order created for the Ugandan-LRA peace process. South Sudan's president (and Sudan national vice-president) Salva Kiir said that he had talked with Darfur rebels (in west Sudan). The rebels are interested in forming a new united front (a re-united front). The new group would then negotiate with the Sudan government. Kiir said that there is no military solution in Darfur. Kiir indicated he believed that the Sudan government was ready to negotiate a political settlement with the Darfur rebels.

 

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