There is a lot of talk in the Europe and even some here DownUnder about the issues of global warming right now. Then there is Iraq and the never-ending bloodshed and debate. And of course these and many other issues are really important and need to be addressed, but I am just wondering what will actually happen to Sudan. It seems to be slipping off politicians screens again a bit. Somehow it feels, like the west choses not to get involved too much, because there is soo much to be lost. 1) if you go in there with military power – suddenly you might find yourself regarded as an invading armee. 2) if you go against the government to much, religious islamic tension is getting higher and some wild “freedom fighters” might join forces to attack the constant enemy. 3) you are really risking soldiers or peacekeepers lifes if 1 & 2 come to pass. … “Sudan has rejected a UN force on the grounds that it would be like an invasion. It also warned that Darfur could become a new battlefield for jihadists, as Osama bin Laden had stated that any UN intervention should be resisted.” Thats why we don’t see any military pressure on Khartum (except words) Now I am not a big fan of war anyway, so I think that’s not too too bad really. Sure we have the attempts of 7000 AU forces to “keep the peace” but that is more of a symbolic move than anything. They are clearly strechted with the task. UN troops aren’t not good either, they are ineffective and don’t mostly have any mandate (like the AU) but to watch and so are quite useless, as we saw in Burundi. … “Their mandate is to protect civilians in immediate danger where possible. In practice there have only been a few occasions where the AU has proactively gone out to defend civilians in threat of attack.”
Then there is political pressure which could be used, but a government who doesn’t really care, who has enough ties to other government in the region and Asia to back them up and keep finances flowing, is hard to pressure. And of course there is the Oil as a great income generator with rising demands. There are certain UN Council states who could inforce the sanctions imposed by the UN against Sudan, but unfortunately more interest in oil export and weapon import – so nothing is happening.
So how can the “world community” deal with this problem? It is really diffcult. It isn’t enough that the US calls it the “worst human rights abuse“. That gives the problem a title, but not a solution. The UN still doesn’t quite publicly agree and doesn’t want to call it a genocide, which in effects totally undermines their position calling for increased sanctions. And meanwhile Khartoum is blocking aid and relief workers from getting to people, using aid-helpers as a weapon. Likewise any transition from AU to UN peacekeepers are both blocked by Khartoun and not enforced by the UN (via their members). What else needs to happen, do we need to see 2.000.000 refugees dying from neglect and starved to death, before any decisive action is taken? We clearly can’t quite wait that long. That would be World War level death numbers. Solutions anyone? My approach would somehow go towards “grassroot movements”, pressure from within the islamic community as well as from oppressed Sudanese to change their government. If there just were ways to to that. But how do you motivate people that are starving, persecuted and oppressed like that, to stand up? Or, how do you get Muslims leaders to addresss the issues of violence and injustice in their country? That could be a breakthrough. But I guess as long as the suffering doesn’t reach Khartoum and it’s people, this is very unlikely to happen. Maybe a Ghandi figure is needed, but I wonder if even Ghandi had succeeded in Sudan, or would he have not just simply been shot? And I wonder how all of this would look like if Garang would still be around. ————– Here are the links again. 2007.03.07 – Sudan ‘paralysing’ aid to Darfur 2007.03.06 – Dafur worst Humanitarian Crisis 2006 2006.12.12 – Peacekeeping Forces 2006.10.23 – Western Pressure Fails 2006.09.21 – Dying in Dafur 2006.05.10 – Interlocking Wars 2005.08.03 – African Media on Garang’s Death