UNAMID (African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur) is still moving
slowly into Darfur, with only 10,600 of the 26,000 peacekeepers arrived so far.
Transport is their biggest problem, as it is for the food aid program.
Apparently, Sudan plans to keep the peacekeepers distracted guarding the food
convoys that keep two million Darfur refugees alive.
2008: Logistics, logistics, logistics. Any sustained military operation
requires steady and reliable supply acquisition and delivery. The same applies
to massive refugee operations. The Grand Sahel (the sub-Saharan weather zone
running from Africa's west coast on to Ethiopia) is a supply officer's
nightmare. Roads are few, seaports distant, and there are plenty of bandits who
sometimes are guerrillas and sometimes the national army as well. Vulnerable
supply lines are one of the big problems in Darfur and to a lesser extent in
south Sudan. Everyone knows it, especially the UN's World Food Program (WFP).
In mid-April the WFP announced that it must cut rations for refugees in Darfur
because of attacks on relief convoys. This is dangerous duty. According to the
UN report, between January 1 and the first two weeks of April, 60 WFP relief
trucks running rations in Darfur have been hijacked. Of those 60 trucks,
39 have not been recovered and 26 of the
drivers are missing. The WFP estimates that it needs to deliver 1800 metric
tons of food a day into Darfur supply dumps before the rainy season begins.
Approximately half that amount is being delivered. Filching sixty trucks and
inciting fear is only part of the story. Darfur lacks roads and most of the
roads are inadequate; they certainly aren't capable of supporting heavy vehicle
convoy traffic on a daily basis. (Austin Bay)
2008: The UN announced that it will move 5400 Sudanese Darfur refugees to camps
in Chad. The move is an attempt to get the refugees away from the fighting
occurring on the Sudan-Chad border.
announced that a second contingent of 14
police officers is now deploying to Darfur to serve with UNAMID peacekeepers.
Gambia already has 100 policemen assigned to the UN force.
2008: Earlier this month actor George Clooney donated $5.6 million to the UN to
help purchase helicopters. Good for Mr. Clooney.