SUDAN WATCH: African Union's wish list for Sudan does not include troops

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

African Union's wish list for Sudan does not include troops

A report today by News 24 in Addis Ababa South Africa makes the African Union sound like it could be doing more in Darfur if only it was not so cash strapped and Western donors gave more. It is not true. The European Union alone has contributed a few hundred million dollars for starters. Not to mention huge pledges from the United States and other donors.

Journalists ought not to spread such rubbish news. The only reason there is not enough help to date in Darfur is purely down to the genocidal regime in Khartoum protecting its power base and sovereignty. End of story. If you want to know more about this, just keep scrolling on down here to August 2004 and keep on scrolling at Passion of the Present to April 2004. In short, everybody who wants to be on the ground in Darfur, is already there. In other words, nobody else wants to go. To date, it is Khartoum and African politics stopping African countries from contributing troops to the African Union mission in Darfur.
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South Africa sends 46 peacekeepers to Darfur

For what seems like eight months now, Darfur has waited for the long promised extra 1,000 African Union troops. A report today by Prensa Latina Johannesburg says South Africa has deployed 46 members of the SA Police Service (SAPS) to Darfur, as part of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). Excerpt:

The members, six of whom are women, will join the 12 operational members and six members of the Headquarter Element who were deployed there earlier this year as part of the AMIS, the BUA News information service reports Wednesday.

The group - together with police members from other African countries - fall under the command of Director Anand Pillay, a South African who was appointed as the Commissioner of the AMIS Civilian Policing Component in Darfur.

All members of the SAPS deployed in Sudan had volunteered their duties and consequently passed stringent medical tests, evaluated and counselled, Police spokesperson Sally de Beer was quoted as saying by BUA News.

"They will undergo mission-specific training in Darfur," she added.

Director Pillay will deploy the members in terms of a needs analysis and in consultation with the African Union.

The role of the Civilian Policing members in Darfur would be to monitor the service delivery of the police of the government of Sudan to the community.

They will also facilitate the building of good relations between the community and the police, give technical advice, export their knowledge on the successful adoption and implementation of community policing.

Abu Shouk camp Darfur Sudan

Photo: Internally displaced Sudanese line up to fill their water containers at the Abu Shouk camp, home of some 100,000 refugees in Darfur May 25, 2005. The African Union (AU) celebrates Africa Day on Wednesday, marking the anniversary of the founding in 1963 of the Organisation of African Unity, replaced in 2002 by the AU as the driving force behind the struggle for peace, democracy, development, human rights and good governance on the worlds poorest continent. REUTERS/Beatrice Mategwa



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