Thursday, June 22, 2006

No peacekeeping mission will succeed in Darfur unless warring parties are genuinely ready for peace

Excerpt from FT report by Andrew England June 22 2006:
"Yes they [the UN] have better logistics and resources, but can they bring the magic?" asks one AU officer. "People's expectations have to be managed."

He pointed out the UN's failure to take action during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and fiascos in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where UN troops failed to prevent the massacre of civilians and the capture of towns by rebels, shattering any credibility it had there.

In spite of the challenges, AU officers argue their presence has made a difference. "I believe if you check from the time we arrived in 2004 to date, in the face of glaring constraints, we have achieved a lot," says Colonel Ladan Yusuf, an AU sector commander.

Ultimately, all agree that no operation will succeed in Darfur unless the warring parties are genuinely ready for peace. The region is awash with weapons and its residents bear arms as others "carry mobile phones", an officer says. And UN officials are expressing concern about the level of expectations that could come with a UN operation.

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