Present and former UN officials believe
that the hybrid African Union-UN force that will enter Darfur must
be prepared to robustly defend civilians. It is believed that the
troops must be ready to fight. The UN is giving the peacekeepers the
right to use force, and believes that the troops will have to use
force, and perhaps a lot of it, against bandits and militia groups
which attack aid workers and Darfurian civilians. However, many observers
don't believe there will be a lot of fighting. The irregulars are
expected to back off when faced with professional troops, who have a
license to kill.
September 30, 2007: In southern Sudan, the rebel government
has deployed 3,000 armed men in the provincial capital, Juba, to
search for illegal firearms, and seize them. Since the peace deal,
thousands of former rebels, many of them armed, have drifted into Juba,
and caused a large increase in crime.
September 29, 2007: Another food aid convoy was
attacked by pro-government Arab raiders. Three aid workers were wounded.
So far this year, 61 convoys have been attacked. Nearly 100 vehicles
have been stolen, along with thousands of tons of food, plus
weapons, radios and other equipment. Both the rebels and the
pro-government militias see the aid groups as a source of loot.
In northern Darfur, thirty vehicles, containing over 500
gunmen, attacked an African Union peacekeepers camp. At least ten
peacekeepers were killed, and over 30 are missing. Many weapons, plus
equipment and other supplies were carried away. The attackers were
believed to be anti-government rebels. The peacekeepers are part of
a 7,000 man AU force which mainly tries to protect aid workers.
September 27, 2007: The UN said Darfur rebels had attacked
another NGO aid worker. The worker's car was stopped and the driver taken
from the car and beaten. This follows an attack on a World Vision
International convoy where eight workers were wounded. The UN reported
that attacks on aid workers have jumped 150 percent in 2007.
South Sudan's government is making another more "autonomous"
move. Southern Sudan is about to issue a new map of the area that
will include what it calls "disputed territories" that should never
have been incorporated in northern Sudan (which may become Northern
Sudan one day). South Sudan (our preference) says that the 1956
North-South boundary is flawed.