SUDAN WATCH: UN official says violence against aid workers due to tensions/rumours among local population

Thursday, August 03, 2006

UN official says violence against aid workers due to tensions/rumours among local population

Aug 3, 2006 IRIN report - Deaths of aid workers threaten Darfur operations - excerpt:
Other sources in the region said some of the displaced were being prevented from reaching the relative safety of the IDP camps. "Previously, the Janjawid wouldn't really care what happened after they had pillaged a village - the fleeing population would cause more displacement and facilitate their scorched-earth campaign," he said. "Minnawi wants to hide his crimes, however, and is trying to prevent people from reaching the towns - leaving them enormously vulnerable."
'Other sources'? I wonder about anonymous sources. Could they be rebels, relatives of rebels, IDPs, AU, UN? As it is an IRIN report, I guess the source might be UN personnel. Rumours are rife and, as the above report goes to show, dangerous.

Peacekeepers, aid workers, military personnel and police working in war zones know the risks before they accept the job. I wonder how aid workers would feel assured by UN troops marching into Darfur. If AU troops leave Darfur in October or by the end of the year, would they be replaced by UN troops without a UN resolution? China and Russia would never agree a Chapter 7 mandate or any other move that's against Khartoum's will. If the UN went in against Khartoum's will, it would be treated as an invasion, an act of war. Aid workers could be dismissed from the country. Where would that leave the refugees? Sometimes I wonder if Drima and I the only ones online backing an AU, not UN, force for Darfur.

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