At long last, we are hearing news of the tribal leaders in Sudan. A BBC report
today reveals UN ambassadors in Sudan have met with strong opposition from tribal leaders to the deployment of troops in Darfur, including threats of holy war. Excerpt:
Khartoum has made clear that it would prefer the AU peacekeepers to be given more support rather than allow a UN force into the region.
UN officials have stressed they want to work alongside the Sudanese government and not take over peacekeeping efforts.
Tribal chiefs in Darfur have also expressed resistance to the idea.
"If a UN force is sent here, I will call for jihad," warned Muwad Jalalabin, chief of the Barty tribe.
Any deployment of non-African forces in the region would be considered as "foreign occupation", he told the reporters in el-Fasher, the main town in north Darfur.
Osman Kebir, governor of northern Darfur, also voiced opposition to the UN proposal, telling the Reuters news agency that the region needed humanitarian assistance but "not troops".
Their comments came as members of Security Council delegation toured Darfur and met with tribal leaders, relief workers and government officials over the proposal.
My hopes are that the African Union Mission in Darfur receives all the support it needs from the UN and NATO, with permission from Khartoum. Tribal leaders run the Janjaweed. Only they can sort it out. It's time they stepped up to the plate. My guess is Khartoum can't manage it otherwise they would have done it by now because of all the billions of dollars staked on peace. The world is watching. We need to hear more from the tribal leaders, their point of view and what it is they can do to help the millions of defenceless women and children in Sudan and Chad - and resolve the battles over drinking water, land and livestock.