France, and other Western nations,
are pressuring the government to allow
the creation of "humanitarian corridors" in Dafur. The corridors will
provide safe passage for refugees and civilian movement, and would run through the former French colonies
of Central African Republic or Chad, or possibly both. Creating the corridors
is a good idea, but it will probably take French or European troops to guarantee
their safety. This is why the Sudan government is suspicious of the proposal.
Sudan sees it as a "first step" to UN and/or European intervention. And it
could well be.
May 31, 2007: African Union peacekeepers reported
that members of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) Minni Minnawi faction
fought with AU peacekeepers in South Darfur state. The Minnawi faction is one
that agreed to the May 2005 peace agreement. The AU report said that an AU
vehicle patrol had an accident that killed one of the rebels. The SLM faction
then fired on the AU forces, wounding three. In the last three years, 19 AU
peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur.
May 25, 2007: A senior US State Department
spokesman denied that the US seeks "regime change" in Sudan. However, Sudan
must agree to accept a "large UN force" or face increased economic and
May 24, 2007: The Sudanese government said that it
will be glad to meet with Darfur rebel organizations to discuss a peace
settlement. Sudan said that it will agree to a ceasefire while the negotiations
are held. The Sudanese statement mentioned South Sudan as a possible location
for the talks. The government of South Sudan (increasingly the S in South is
capitalized) has offered to broker negotiations.