16 September 2006

The obvious alternative

Darfur. An ongoing failure of international humanitarian will. The EU has done scandalously little ... though to hear the US (which has done less still) making that accusation beggars belief.

The African Union have provided the biggest helping of hope in a meagre pot, but they are set to withdraw at the end of this month. They want a UN replacement, but the Sudanese government won't accept that ... and after the disastrous interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's hard to get enthusiastic about hopes for enforced insertion.

Criticism of the 7000 strong AU contingent focuses on the assertions that they are under funded and ill equipped. That's not surprising, since the nations of the AU are amongst the poorest on earth. I keep finding myself wondering why all the voices calling for action don't suggest external help with money and materiel (which, unlike mobilisation of their own forces in blue berets, come cheap for rich first world countries) for this force already in place by agreement? It doesn't seem like rocket science.

I don't pretend to know that this would work ... but it seems worth discussing.

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