SUDAN WATCH: AU meeting on Darfur handover to UN postponed

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

AU meeting on Darfur handover to UN postponed

Reuters report Feb 28 2006 says the AU meeting to make a final decision on a handover in Darfur, originally due to take place on Friday has been postponed until March 10 to give enough time for all those concerned in the Darfur crisis to attend, AU spokesman said.

Note, if the UN took over the AU Mission in Darfur it would be possible for UN peacekeepers to be given Chapter 7 mandate. Khartoum has insisted all along that the role of African Union troops in Darfur is to monitor a ceasefire, not as a protection force. The AU's security council could expand the mandate of its troops in Darfur anytime without a UN resolution. But Khartoum does not want the mandate expanded - ever. Perhaps someone like Libya's Col Gaddafi might persuade them otherwise. Who disarms first, the rebels or the Janjaweed?

The UN Security Council acted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter when it defined the Mandate for the UN Mission in Sudan to monitor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAP) signed between Khartoum and southern Sudan rebels in January 2005. If a Darfur peace agreement was brought under the umbrella of the CAP, one wonders if the 10,000 strong UN peacekeeping force for southern Sudan would include troops and equipment for Darfur. What a massive underaking. Sudan is the size of Europe. Darfur is the size of France. NATO has the technology to detect when raids are taking place. Surely Darfur needs to come under the CAP so that resources are pooled and shared to help quell anarchy in Darfur. Notice how the rebels in Eastern Sudan, who also feel their region, just like that of Darfur in western Sudan, has been marginalised, have been quiet of late.

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