SUDAN WATCH: Give peace a chance - Sending UN into Darfur is no solution - Janjaweed will be very tough to stop by force alone

Friday, March 03, 2006

Give peace a chance - Sending UN into Darfur is no solution - Janjaweed will be very tough to stop by force alone

How can there be peace in Sudan if the tribal leaders are not part of the peace talks? Who disarms first, the rebels or the Janjaweed?

Eric Reeves' warmongering opinion piece and the latest news reports of Americans demanding that NATO troops be sent to Darfur I find rather worrying. I agree with Julie Flint's opinion piece in The Daily Star Lebanon, March 4, 2006, in which she says "keep it on hold while peace is given a chance".

Julie Flint op-ed - Sending UN into Darfur is no solution at all - excerpt:
"To protect the people of Darfur and get them home will require far, far more troops than anyone is currently prepared to offer or fund. Even if powerful countries put their money where their mouth is - and there is little sign of that at present - it is highly improbable that any force, whether UN, NATO, or AU, or a combination of all three, will be able to do anything but keep a peace that is agreed between the parties.

Darfur is tribal, and the tribes have to be part of the solution. The concerns of the Arab nomad tribes must be addressed, along with the longstanding mistrust of the Zaghawa - heightened since the war began by the abusive behavior of many of Minawi's forces. There are those in the American administration who have been urging a loya jirga-type meeting with the genuine representatives of the people of Darfur in the driving seat rather than the principals currently in Abuja, but they have not been heeded. Neither have those in the UN concerned that the organization's humanitarian staff and humanitarian operations may be penalized if a UN army is sent in without Khartoum's blessing. With Khartoum's blessing, of course, any UN force would be a toothless beast that would be little or no improvement on the AU.

Dialogue may not work, and unless real pressure is brought to bear on Khartoum, it will not even get off the ground. Plan for a bigger, braver mission in the event that it fails. But keep it on hold while peace is given a chance. The Janjaweed warriors, armed with a racist ideology and still backed by the Sudanese government, will be very tough to stop by force alone."

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