SUDAN WATCH: US confident Sudan will agree to UN force

Friday, May 12, 2006

US confident Sudan will agree to UN force

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, who helped AU mediators seal the deal in Abuja last week, said in a Reuters interview today she was confident Sudan will allow a UN force in Darfur, even though it has sent mixed signals on peacekeepers since signing an accord with rebels - Reuters (Sue Pleming):
Frazer predicted Sudan would give a clear message after a meeting of African Union ministers in Ethiopia on Monday, adding that Khartoum was coming under strong pressure from both its neighbours and members of the Arab League to agree.

Frazer said she was hopeful that Abdel Wahed Mohammed al-Nur of the SLA would soon sign on and did not think an international force was needed in Chad. Once Darfur is secured, the instability in the border area with Chad will be resolved, she added.
Some analysts sceptical about Darfur Peace Agreement

May 12 2006 VOA says diplomats are calling the Darfur Peace Agreement an important step on the path to peace. Some analysts are sceptical, ie:

Roland Marchal, researcher and former editor of the French Revue Politique Africaine, calls the agreement "good news" because it means a significant number of Arab tribes would like to reach a settlement but "bad news" because Khartoum may use some tribes as scapegoats and blame them for the Janjaweed's murder of civilians and burning of villages. In addition, Mr Marchal notes that the rebels are "far from being organised." Furthermore, the international community is naive if it believes Khartoum will accept UN troops on the ground as a "direct consequence of this agreement."

Richard Crockett, Africa editor of the Economist magazine in London, wonders whether the accord can be implemented on the ground. Mr Crockett notes the government in Khartoum is not to be trusted. He points to their arming of the Janjaweed and says he thinks the only thing that will work is to get a UN force into Darfur to start monitoring a phased disarmament of the Janjaweed "at the point of a gun, frankly," because the Khartoum government is unlikely to follow through on its own.


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