SUDAN WATCH: Arabs back Sudan on UN force - AMIS needs equipment

Monday, August 21, 2006

Arabs back Sudan on UN force - AMIS needs equipment

The following photos and captions by Werner, a South African soldier and UN/AU military observer in Darfur, appear in his blog Soldier of Africa.

The photos are probably a good example of what AMIS means when, year after year, it says it doesn't have enough of the right equipment. Here's hoping they soon receive what they need for the job.

Mud Heaven

Mud Heaven

On our patrol to a village near the Chadian border today this is the type of roads we had to drive on. (Photo/caption Soldier of Africa 19 Aug 2006)

Camel Trophy?

Darfur, W Sudan

I think that when I am done here I can seriously think about competing in the Camel Trophy race. I actually drove successfully on these roads today and had Paul and Hassan holding onto anything they could find with white knuckles. (Photo/caption Soldier of Africa 19 Aug 2006)

Paul and I

Darfur, W Sudan

This wadi was where we decided not to cross since we had heavy APC's with us. Of course Paul wanted to go on with his knife between the teeth attitude. (Photo/caption Soldier of Africa 19 Aug 2006)



We interviewed the miller of the village near the impassable wadi. The guy talking is Hassan from Egypt and the guy on his left is a GoS representative who went with us. On the far right is the platoon commander of the protection force that protected us today. (Photo/caption Soldier of Africa 19 Aug 2006)

Well Stuck

Lastly, I'm having trouble posting photos right now. Here is the caption for Werner's illuminating "Well Stuck" photo 20 Aug 2006:
This APC deviated just slightly from the road and this was the result. These vehicles are armoured so they weigh many tonnes. Not only do they sink away easily, but if we are not careful we may damage certain areas of road like drifts and cause major problems for the local population. Under the surface of a drift an APC may leave very deep furrows, which can trap the vehicles of the local population passing through.
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Although the African Union Mission in Darfur is estimated to cost $1 billion each year, it still suffers a shortage of funds and the right equipment.

AFP/Gulf Times report 21 Aug 2006, excerpt:
Arab League committee on Sudan voiced its support for Khartoum's rejection of a US-UK draft UN resolution that would pave the way for the deployment of UN troops to Darfur, the diplomats said.

Instead the committee called for a reinforcement of the African Union mission already on the ground in Darfur.
If members of the Arab League started paying for African peacekeepers in Darfur, perhaps it will enable international donors to help AMIS receive the right equipment and training.


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