Sunday, January 08, 2006

This Week in Darfur, Sudan 1/8/2006

As the new year begins, the challenges continue in Sudan, as the security situation continues to deteriorate and the prospects of further fighting loom large.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announced in a statement on Tuesday, Jan. 3 that “large-scale attacks against civilians continue, women and girls are being raped by armed groups, yet more villages are being burned, and thousands more are being driven from their homes.” Annan urged further international action to end the crisis. Just days later, the UN announced that it would evacuate non-essential personnel from north Darfur due to increasing violence and a new massing of troops along the province’s northern border.

This troop movement, and the prospect of new military action that it suggests, underscore the need for a stronger stabilizing force in the region to discourage new attacks. British envoy to the UN Emyr Jones Parry told reporters that an upcoming Security Council meeting on Sudan should include a discussion of whether the UN should take over the peacekeeping mission in Darfur currently under the auspices of the African Union. Chadian President Idriss Deby echoed that thought, urging the UN to “blue hat” the AU force and bring greater funding and military resources to the peacekeeping mission. President Deby’s comments come just days after growing tension on the Chad-Sudan border prompted him to urge the postponement of a proposed AU meeting on Darfur originally scheduled be held this past Wednesday in Tripoli.

African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, making the point that increased resources are necessary to protect the civilian population and prevent the type of banditry that has begun to have an impact across the Chad-Sudan border.

Articles Referenced Above:
  • UN heightens security in Darfur, Sudan, Arabic News – 1/5/06
  • E. Sudan conflict may escalate into major war-report, Reuters – 1/5/06
  • UK urges support for African Union in Darfur, Sudan Tribune – 1/4/06
  • Chad president wants Darfur put under U.N. mandate, Reuters – 1/5/06
  • Sudan summit postponed as tensions with Chad rise, Reuters – 1/3/06
  • Darfur talks in trouble over power-sharing dispute, Reuters – 1/4/06
  • Other News
  • Egypt to deport 600 Sudanese after deadly clash, Middle East Times – 1/2/06
  • Weak-kneed on Darfur, Washington Times – 1/2/06
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