Sunday, April 10, 2005

Indian troops with Chapter VII mandate set for Sudan war zone

More news on the Indian soldiers for South Darfur. Today's Telegraph in Calcutta says Indian Army troops are being posted to Southern Darfur in Sudan to police a ceasefire agreement and enforce peace between warring militia and government forces. [I hope it is not a typo: that the troops are for southern Sudan and South Darfur in western Sudan].

The report reveals the deployment [possibly consisting of 2,000 soldiers] in Sudan will be the second that the Indian Army will undertake under Chapter VII of the UN charter that authorises "peace enforcement" - distinct from "peacekeeping" - and will vest the troops with the power to open fire and use violent measures to quell the chaos.

It is not really clear in the report whether the troops are for Darfur and South Sudan, and have Chapter VII mandate for South Sudan or Darfur, or both. If it is true that Indian troops have Chapter VII mandate for Darfur, this is big news.

Also note, the report says the Indian troops are likely to work alongside a logistics team from the Chinese People's Liberation Army. China and India have large oil interests in areas around South Darfur (see oil concessions map in sidebar here). Full Story by Sujan Dutta April 10, 2005.

Arms for peace
Photo: Arms for peace
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Sudan approves UN resolution 1590 on peacekeepers

Following on from above news report, China View says the Sudanese cabinet today approved the UN Security Council's resolution 1590 on sending more than 10,000-strong peacekeepers to Sudan.

The UN resolution underlined the locations of the countries that will participate in the peacekeeping as well as the percentage of troops each country will contribute to the peacekeeping force. A Sudanese minister ruled out any links of the UN peacekeeping troops to the Darfur conflict.

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