SUDAN WATCH: Warlordism on the increase - More troops in Darfur not much of a solution - Sudan's tribal: Janjaweed and major tribes have to be part of peace talks

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Warlordism on the increase - More troops in Darfur not much of a solution - Sudan's tribal: Janjaweed and major tribes have to be part of peace talks

Hedi Annabi, a UN assistant secretary general for peacekeeping, said he was not disturbed by the AU decision to extend its Darfur mission through September as UN planners had said all along it would take six to nine months to assemble, equip and deploy a UN force.

So, when will Sudan's Janjaweed and all major tribes representing millions of displaced people attend the Darfur peace talks? How can there be peace in Sudan if tribal leaders are not part of the talks? Who disarms first, the rebels or the Janjaweed?

Darfur is tribal says Julie Flint and the tribes have to be part of the solution ... "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."

Even 20,000 UN troops can't be expected to control a region larger than France

Fareed Zakaria's article in March 20, 2006 issue of Newsweek says "Khartoum will try corruption, coercion, force, anything' to derail peace talks on the killing in Darfur, a Sudanese activist named Mudawi Ibrahim Adam warns." Further excerpt:

" ... Mudawi isn't clamoring for military intervention. "Simply putting more troops, or better troops in, is not much of a solution," says Mudawi. "They will have some effect in lessening the violence, but only for a while. Look at what has happened with the African Union peacekeepers. At first they seemed effective, and within a few months they were being ambushed, having their jeeps stolen, and security got much worse." Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick does not dispute that assessment. "The African Union forces have done a tremendous job," he said last week. "But they came in to enforce a ceasefire, and that ceasefire has broken down." The AU's 7,000 peacekeepers - or even 20,000 U.N. troops - can't be expected to control a region larger than France.

Mudawi holds scant hope for the current peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria. "The parties from Darfur are not really represented," he says. "The Khartoum government is there, but it has no interest in having the talks succeed. Relatively few of the Janjaweed or the other tribes are there. And no one is representing the 2 million people who have been displaced and are living in camps. They have separate but crucial claims that have to be placed on the table." Mudawi wants talks with all major tribes represented. But, he argues, only the presence of a senior American figure at the table can offset the maneuverings of the Sudanese government. "Khartoum will try corruption, coercion, force, anything to derail such talks," he says. "Only international pressure could counteract this."
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Warlordism on the increase - Pronk calls on Sudanese government to stop arming the militias

Mar 2 2006 IRIN report says UN envoy Jan Pronk urged the SLA to stop its attacks, as they provoked counter-reactions with "bad consequences for their people". He also called on the government to stop arming the militias. The report explains:

As local commanders did not necessarily take orders from their leaders anymore and "warlordism" was on the increase, the solution to certain conflicts had to be found at the local level.

"I believe more and more in reconciliation talks on the ground in Darfur and not only in Abuja," Pronk added. "You cannot replace Abuja, but now that the rebel movements are so fragmented, you could also have some regional reconciliation efforts in order to solve local conflicts."

"The UN could support and participate in such processes," he said, "but only when the process is fair and tribes can themselves decide who will represent them, and as long as all parties welcome the participation of the UN."

In the meantime, the UN would continue to support the AU and help its peacekeepers strengthen their protection activities.

"They now have 7,000 troops on the ground and wanted to expand it to 12,000," Pronk said. "I think we need more than 12,000 troops and that is a way in which the UN could help."

Even if the international community decided to take stronger action to protect the civilian population, however, it would take time before tangible changes would be seen on the ground.
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Warlords Seen as Spoilers in Sudan

Note Stanford University Lecture Spoilers in Peace Processes.

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