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Friday, September 24, 2004

Current Proposals for Responding to Genocide in Darfur: 

A compendium and critique of suggestions from the international community

Eric Reeves
September 23, 2004

Various voices within the international community have proposed a number of
different responses to ongoing, massive genocidal destruction in Darfur. Whether
motivated by shame, human rights commitments, political expediency, or
humanitarian concerns, these proposals are now numerous enough and come from enough
different sources that they require some critical assessment, both as to efficacy
and practicability.

Dismayingly, a number of policy suggestions do not take sufficient cognizance
of political realities in Khartoum or the present circumstances defining human
destruction in Darfur. Nor is there sufficient understanding of Khartoum's oil
sector, or other key features of the economy that the National Islamic Front
regime has built over fifteen years of tyrannical rule. Moreover, there seems to
be a good deal of ignorance about how Khartoum has acquired weapons in the past
and how it intends to provision its armory in the future.

UN proposals, both as embodied in Security Council Resolution 1564 (September
18, 2004) and in statements/reports from the Office of the Secretary-General,
seem especially worrisome---both for their generally disingenuous character and
their serious miscalculations about the means to provide human security in
Darfur. The plan for creating "safe areas" in Darfur---designed by Kofi Annan's
special representative to Sudan Jan Pronk---seems particularly ill-considered.

Plans for humanitarian relief in Darfur too often fail to take a longer
prospective view of the crisis, and typically don't articulate the larger consequences
of the virtually total destruction of traditional African agricultural economy
and society. There is no conceptual plan for the ongoing relief efforts that
will certainly be required for more than a year, or an articulation of the means
by which some portion of the traditional agricultural economy of the region can
be rebuilt. African tribal groups must be allowed to return to their lands,
with adequate provisions for beginning productive lives again, or they will
simply be warehoused in camps for the displaced, or drift towards urban environments
where their agricultural skills and knowledge will be useless. Understanding
how difficult this task of return will be must define any meaningful plan for a
long-term peacekeeping force.

All of these issues should come into consideration during international
planning, and in coordination between humanitarian organizations, UN organizations,
and responding nations. Human rights groups should do a much better job both in
collating their findings and in articulating meaningful advocacy positions.
Presently the two most powerful human rights organizations, Amnesty International
and Human Rights Watch, are entirely too timid in making recommendations that
are commensurate in power with their highly impressive research on the ground.

PROPOSED RESPONSES TO THE DARFUR CRISIS

[1] An African Union peacekeeping force.

The deployment of a modestly large African Union peacekeeping force is
presently the default international policy response to security issues in Darfur. Such
a force---discussed in terms of 3,000 to 5,000 troops---would supplement the
roughly 300 troops presently deployed to protect the African Union "cease-fire"
monitoring team of 120 observers. Such an increased deployment would be of
considerable significance, and---with an appropriately robust mandate---could make
a substantial contribution to security in the camps.

But there are many obstacles to such deployment and many problems with such
heavy dependence on an exclusively African Union force. Few of these have been
addressed in comprehensive fashion. Certainly UN Security Council resolution
1564 is hardly an effective means by which to compel Khartoum to accept either a
larger force or a change in mandate; the resolution merely "welcomes and
supports the intention of the African Union to enhance and augment its monitoring
mission" (Paragraph 2), and "welcomes the Government of Sudan's willingness to
accept and facilitate an expanded African UN mission" (Paragraph 3).

The word "peacekeeping" never appears in the resolution, and both Kofi Annan
and Jan Pronk have studiously avoided an explicit call for a peacekeeping
mandate. This, of course, disingenuously skirts the central issue: Khartoum has for
two months now repeatedly, adamantly refused to countenance a peacekeeping
mandate for any augmented African Union force. Simply eliding this difficult fact
from discussions hardly removes the key obstacle. Moreover, there are no
explicit calls for a peacekeeping mandate coming from other members of the
international community---from the US Secretary of State Colin Powell (in his September
9, 2004 Senate testimony on Darfur), from the European Union, from various other
international actors. This convinces Khartoum that there is no will to make
such a demand, evidently for fear of being rebuffed. Without much greater
international pressure than is presently in evidence, the regime will continue to
resist strenuously the deployment of peacekeepers.

There are also exceedingly few discussions of the logistical and transport
requirements for 3,000 to 5,000 AU troops. We must remember that the AU has
virtually no logistical or troop transport capacity of its own, and any augmented
force would be deploying to one of the most remote and difficult environments
imaginable. Logistical and transport problems for the approximately 400 troops and
observers now in Darfur have proved thoroughly formidable, and Khartoum has
easily managed to keep the observers grounded when necessary by denying fuel and
creating other obstacles. Communications gear is woefully inadequate as well,
and this obliges the AU force to utilize helicopters to ferry reports and
intelligence rather than concentrate on investigating atrocities.

A force ten times the size of the present one, deployed to multiple locations
throughout Darfur (a region the size of France), would create very substantial
needs. In addition to transport and logistics (including an independently
controlled fuel supply), the force would require food, water, and other provisions,
as well as significant communications equipment. Breakdowns in transport
vehicles and other equipment must be anticipated. The costs over many months of
deployment will be large. To be sure, the willingness of the African Union is
clear, as are declarations of support from the UN and various. But this by itself
is not enough, as African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare told the
Associated Press:

"The African Union is ready to send 4,000 to 5,000 troops 'very soon---within
days, weeks,' African Union Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare [said].' But
Konare said movement depends on logistical help from 'Europe, America and the
United Nations especially.' So far, he said, there has been just talk about
assistance." (Associated Press, September 22, 2004)

Until there are formal financial and material commitments, to a force that has
a clear peacekeeping mandate, the "African Union solution" to the Darfur crisis
is merely notional. Moreover, even the 3,000 to 5,000 troops presently being
discussed are very far from constituting a force adequate to the desperate
security needs for Darfur as a whole. Authoritative military assessments of what
would be required to secure the camps, provide protection to humanitarian relief
efforts, and begin to secure the rural areas are in the range of 50,000 troops.
No one is talking about this kind of deployment, which is to say that even the
deployment of the presently contemplated number of African Union forces, with a
yet-unsecured peacekeeping mandate, would be at best a very partial response to
the larger security issues in Darfur.

[2] Sanctions and embargoes

Various and typically vague proposals have been made to threaten the
intransigent Khartoum regime, which still gives no sign of reining in the brutal
Janjaweed militia force or curtailing its own genocidal ambitions. Indeed, as UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour has confirmed during her recent
assessment trip to Darfur, the Janjaweed are now being recycled into the "police"
forces for the camps and the so-called "safe areas" that were negotiated by Jan
Pronk, Kofi Annan's special representative to Sudan:

"[Arbour] said that during a visit to North Darfur that refugees told her that
among the police guarding their camps were former members of the Janjaweed
militia that forced them to flee their homes. Arbour also accused the Sudanese
government of failing to do enough to protect refugees. 'There is a total sense of
impunity,' she said." (Agence France-Presse, September 21, 2004)

Here it should be noted that Arbour's finding has been widely reported
previously. And while it is important symbolically that the UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights travel to Darfur, Arbour found nothing that has not been repeatedly
and authoritatively reported before. Her visit thus inevitably creates the
impression of UN temporizing for lack of a more effective response. We might note
that Arbour was accompanied by Kofi Annan's so far irrelevant special adviser
on the prevention of genocide, Juan Méndez. But lest the world think that the
UN might be in the process of actually determining whether genocide is
occurring, "Annan stressed [that Arbour and Méndez] are not determining whether or not
genocide has taken place" (UN News Center [New York], September 20, 2004).

But Darfur doesn't need additional human rights reporting for purposes of the
most robust and urgent action. The evidence, including overwhelming evidence of
genocide, is in hand. The nominal reason for the visit of Arbour and Méndez
was "to examine how to shield beleaguered civilians there from further militia
attacks" (UN News Center [New York], September 20, 2004). But the answer has
long been clear: a robust peacekeeping force with a mandate to protect civilians.
Such investigative trips add nothing to our understanding of the tasks at hand,
and indeed work to convince Khartoum that there are no real consequences for
continuing human destruction and abuse.

Can the Khartoum regime be pressured into accepting a peacekeeping force? Are
threats of an arms embargo or an oil embargo credible and efficacious? The
answer is clearly not. An arms embargo, of the sort recently called for by
Amnesty International and others, is particularly unlikely to change perceptions in
Khartoum. First, we should note that Khartoum is now largely self-sufficient in
the small- and medium-sized arms that have been provided to the Janjaweed in
such great quantities. Dual-use production facilities, such as the giant GIAD
complex outside Khartoum, have been constructed with petrodollars, and have had
the benefit of extensive Chinese and Russian military engineering expertise.
Arms production continues to grow rapidly; and as former National Islamic Front
ideological leader Hassan el-Turabi predicted in 1999, even Russian model T-55
tanks are now produced by Khartoum using oil revenues.

The only real point of military import pressure might be for servicing of the
helicopter gunships that have been used to such deadly effect in Darfur and
southern Sudan. But the Russian companies that supplied the helicopters are
committed contractually to service them, and Russia has recently made clear that it
is actually intent on expanding arms sales to Africa, including Sudan:

"Russia has been criticised for supplying warplanes to Sudan, where Arab
militias are attacking African villagers in the Darfur region and displaced villagers
say government aircraft have bombed their homes. Russia's arms export agency
said it wanted to do more business with Sudan and other African nations. 'One of
the key points of the Rosoboronexport Corporation marketing strategy is the
extension of the volumes, diversity and geography in defence sales to African
nations,' the agency said in a statement."
(Defence News, September 22, 2004 at Defencetalk.com, at:
http://www.defencetalk.com/news/publish/article_001927.shtml)

Moreover, long-time arms supplier China will certainly not observe an arms
embargo and would veto any UN resolution proposing such an embargo. And there are
other nations to pick up any unlikely slack: Bulgaria, Yemen, Ukraine, and
others. An arms embargo is a proposal with only symbolic value, and no chance of
being implemented.

Is an oil embargo practicable? Certainly there can be no doubting its
efficacy: Khartoum, with a huge level of external debt, is critically dependent on oil
revenues provided by the state-owned oil companies of India (ONGC), Malaysia
(Petronas), and China (China National Petroleum Corp.)---all operating in
southern Sudan. But there is not a shred of evidence that any of these Asian
countries would participate in an embargo, or that a UN resolution authorizing an
embargo would not be vetoed by China. Indeed, one only need consider the nature of
China's investment in Sudan and its growing dependency on foreign oil to see
how thoroughly impracticable an embargo is.

China controls between 40 and 50% of total oil operations in southern Sudan
(Western and Eastern Upper Nile). China now imports huge quantities of oil for
its rapidly growing economy, and consumption increases 10% annually. Sudan is
China's premier source of off-shore oil production. Even if every other country
in the world were to participate in an embargo, China alone could provide a
market for all of Sudan's current total export production (approximately 270,000
barrels/day). But China has partners in Malaysia and India that are just as
eager for oil, and just as willing to overlook massive human rights abuses.
Malaysia in particular has proved as much in southern Sudan for years.

An oil embargo (or "boycott") will not work, and it is disingenuous for world
leaders like Secretary of State Colin Powell and various senior officials in the
European Union to suggest otherwise. It is yet another example of an
apparently tough position that is transparently meaningless as a means of increasing
pressure on Khartoum.

OTHER MEASURES

Targeted sanctions---sanctions directed against particular members of the
National Islamic Front regime---have been proposed by several organizations,
including the International Crisis Group. While such sanctions (restricting travel
abroad, freezing foreign assets, suspending commercial relations with businesses
owned or controlled by the regime) would have some effect, it is doubtful that
by themselves they would have a serious impact on thinking in Khartoum. Assets
abroad have already been largely sequestered into inaccessible or invisible
accounts, and this process would accelerate if targeted sanctions appeared
imminent. And Khartoum's leaders have previously faced travel restrictions: following
the 1995 assassination attempt on Egyptian President Mubarak (the UN
established that the regime was deeply involved), diplomatic sanctions were officially
imposed. These were to have included travel restrictions, but observance quickly
disappeared. Khartoum has not forgotten.

UN Security Council Resolution 1564 speaks of "an international commission of
inquiry" (Paragraph 12), a morally and historically essential task. But the
resolution merely "calls on all parties [in the Darfur conflict] to cooperate
fully with such a commission." Khartoum has heard, and ignored, many previous
"calls" from the UN. There is no evidence that the regime will "cooperate" now.
Rather, it will make symbolic gestures, but at the same time work relentlessly
(as it has for months) to obscure the sites of atrocities and mass executions.
The regime is brutally intimidating those in Darfur who attempt to speak with
outside investigators, and will continue to obscure evidence even as it stalls
any meaningful work by a commission of inquiry. The regime rightly fears the
findings of any such investigation, but this is not the same as feeling pressure
to change its present genocidal course of action. On the contrary, the
prospect of such a commission of inquiry provides incentive to accelerate the
obliteration of evidence and to consolidate the effects of months of vast civilian
destruction and displacement.

RESPONSES ON THE GROUND IN SUDAN

[1] Kofi Annan's/Jan Pronk's plan for "safe areas"

In a "Joint Communiqué"---signed by Kofi Annan and Khartoum on July 3,
2004---the groundwork was laid for what has developed into an extremely unfortunate
plan to create so-called "safe areas" in Darfur. The idea, broached in general
terms in the Joint Communiqué, was formalized in the August 5, 2004 "Plan of
Action," signed again by the Khartoum regime and by Jan Pronk, representing Kofi
Annan. This plan has been previously analyzed by this writer in considerable
detail (September 3, 2004; available upon request).

According to the exceedingly brief, but immensely destructive "Plan of Action
for Darfur,"

"the Government of Sudan would identify parts of Darfur that can be made secure
and safe within 30 days. This would include existing IDP camps, and areas
around certain towns and villages with a high concentration of local population.
The Government of Sudan would then provide secure routes to and between these
areas. These tasks should be carried out by Sudan police forces to maintain
confidence already created by redeployment of the Government of Sudan armed forces"
(text from "Plan of Action for Darfur," August 5, 2004 [Khartoum]).

As became clear only with Secretary-general Annan's report to the UN Security
Council on Darfur, the "safe areas" in the "Plan of Action" were conceived as
entailing "the securing and protection of villages within a 20-kilometer radius
around the major towns identified" ("Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to
[ ] Security Council Resolution 1556," August 30, 2004).

What does this language mean on the ground in Darfur?

Most ominously, the creation of "safe areas" not only threatens to consolidate,
indeed institutionalize the effects of Khartoum's campaign of ethnic clearances
and genocidal destruction, but it is being deliberately manipulated by Khartoum
for offensive military advantage. Human Rights Watch notes that, "These safe
areas could become a form of 'human shield.' This would allow the government to
secure zones around the major towns and confine a civilian population that it
considers to be supporting the rebels" ("Darfur: UN 'Safe Areas' offer no Real
Security," Human Rights Watch, September 1, 2004).

These "safe areas" are, as Human Rights Watch has also reported, "only a
slightly revised version of the Sudanese government proposal in early July [2004] to
create 18 'resettlement sites' for the more than 1.2 million displaced
Darfurian civilians" ("Darfur: UN 'Safe Areas' offer no Real Security," Human Rights
Watch, September 1, 2004). We should be suspicious of any such plan emanating
originally from the Khartoum regime. And we should be especially concerned about
the nature of the security that underlies "resettlement sites" or "safe areas."

For in fact, the "police" that have been deployed to the "safe areas,"
nominally to replace redeployed regular military forces of the regime, are not the
"credible and respected police force" the Joint Communiqué stipulates: they are
soldiers and other militarily trained personnel in the uniforms of "police." And
given the geographic latitude provided by the 20-mile radius stipulated in the
Plan of Action, these "police"/paramilitary forces have been extremely active:
not in securing the areas and protecting civilians but in consolidating and
expanding areas under Khartoum's military control.

Civilians, already vulnerable to the ongoing predations of Janjaweed militia
forces, have now---by virtue of these various UN negotiations---been made even
more vulnerable to violence from those "policing" the "safe areas." Moreover, as
Amnesty International points out, the very notion of "safe areas" suggests that
civilians not in these areas are somehow without protections. The entire plan
is a ghastly error in judgment, deriving from a wholly unjustified willingness
to believe that by demanding a "credible and respected police force," Khartoum
will somehow feel obliged to provide one. The fact that these "safe areas" are
little different from what Khartoum originally called "resettlement sites"
suggests that what Khartoum is "enforcing" is a permanent displacement and
destruction of the agricultural way of life of these African tribal peoples.

As Human Rights Watch declared in a more recent press release speaking to the
Pronk/Annan plan for "safe areas":

"The [Human Rights Watch] letter [to the UN Security Council] also charged that
proposed 'safe areas' could impede the return of civilians to their homes and
consolidate forced displacement and 'ethnic cleansing' initiated by [the
government of] Sudan." (Human Rights Watch press release, September 13, 2004)

Put another way, the "safe areas" and the camps that define so many of them are
in danger of becoming what UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs Jan
Egeland recently referred to "as concentration-camp like areas" (UN Integrated
Regional Information Networks, September 1, 2004). In fact, we must see this
terrible reality as already too fully realized. This assessment has been echoed by
Andrew Natsios, administrator of the US Agency for International Development,
who declared: "The displaced people in Darfur told us repeatedly [ ] that the
cities and displaced camps have become prisons, concentration camps."

[2] Kofi Annan's/Jan Pronk's "hortatory strategy" in Khartoum

Reuters reports today that Jan Pronk has declared Khartoum "is obliged to ask
for international support if it cannot protect the nearly 1.5 million people
displaced [in Darfur]":

"'If you cannot do it (protect your population)...then you have to ask
international support. It's an obligation,' Jan Pronk told reporters in Khartoum. 'Are
you serious, are you sincere in requesting adequate international support?'"
(Reuters [Khartoum], September 23, 2004)

This recourse to moral exhortation, an urging of "obligations to protect," is
at this point in the crisis both shamefully disingenuous and deeply destructive
of diplomatic credibility. All this should highlight the significance of a
genocide determination and the importance of communicating with Khartoum in the
context of such a determination. For what could be more ludicrous than to urge
upon Khartoum's genocidaires a "moral obligation" to protect the very people the
regime has been systematically destroying for well over a year, both by means
of its regular armed forces, the Janjaweed militia, and the deliberate
obstruction of humanitarian relief?

The strategy that Annan and Pronk are evidently following is one of
"engagement," with the implicit assumption that Khartoum can be "engaged" in good faith.
This entirely unjustified assumption presumably accounts for Pronk's recent
declaration that a genocide determination in Darfur is "premature" (Reuters,
September 18, 2004). For of course determining that genocide was being committed by
Khartoum would make "engagement" with the regime transparently what it is: an
expedient, weak, and dishonest refusal to confront Darfur's realities.

Human Rights Watch recently found it "startling" that Kofi Annan's report to
the UN Security Council,

"fails to acknowledge what several UN agencies and scores of independent
reports have documented: the government of Sudan is responsible for these attacks
against civilians, directly and through the Janjaweed militias it supports." ("UN
Darfur Deadline Expires: Security Council Must Act," September 3, 2004 [New
York])

But finally, given the course of expediency and "engagement" that Pronk daily
makes more evident, there is nothing "startling" about this deliberate omission:
it is essential to the Annan/Pronk strategy. And Khartoum knows precisely how
to construe such expediency---for expediency offers the clearest signal that
there is no real pressure available through the UN, which in responding to the
Darfur crisis has become little more than a platform for exhortation. We catch a
glimpse of Khartoum's contempt for such weakness in a dispatch today from
Agence France-Presse, which reports comments by National Islamic Front (National
Congress) secretary general Ibrahim Omar:

"A top official from Sudan's ruling party says the Government will not disarm
'Arab tribes' in the troubled Darfur region, saying they were not all members of
the Janjaweed militia." (Agence France-Presse, September 23, 2004)

But this is simply nonsense. Nobody has declared that all "Arab tribes" are
part of the Janjaweed. In fact, the consensus figure for the number of Janjaweed
active in the Darfur genocide and coordinating militarily with Khartoum is
roughly 20,000. But there can be no doubt that the Janjaweed exist, and that they
are directly responsible (along with the Khartoum regime) for destroying
perhaps 75% of the villages in all of Darfur, for displacing 2 million human beings,
and for the deaths of more than 200,000 innocent civilians. The Janjaweed are
operating in concert with Khartoum, and more recently have increasingly filled
the ranks of "police" in the camps (see above).

But though Ibrahim Omar's comments may have nothing to do with the truth, they
do reveal how far Khartoum is from responding to its various commitments to the
UN, most conspicuously including the commitment made almost three months ago to
"immediately start to disarm the Janjaweed and other armed outlaw groups," and
"ensure that no militias are present in all areas surrounding IDP camps"
("Joint Communiqué between the Government of Sudan and the United Nations on the
occasion of the visit of the UN Secretary-General," July 3, 2004).

HUMANITARIAN RELIEF

The ineffective international political response to the catastrophe in Darfur
brings heightened pressure to bear on humanitarian operations. Present
humanitarian requirements for displaced persons in Darfur and refugees in Chad are well
in excess of 40,000 metric tons for food and non-food items (medicine, shelter,
water purification supplies, cooking fuel). This exceeds by more than 100%
present logistical and transport capacity. Moreover, funding for humanitarian
operations has been shamefully laggard, and at least two breaks in the "food
pipeline" are now forecast.

But most troublingly, humanitarian relief will have to continue for the
foreseeable future, or the international community will be consigning hundreds of
thousands of people to slow death from starvation. For agricultural production has
come to a halt in Darfur. There was no spring planting, and thus is no fall
harvest. No seeds have been culled for the next planting, and the prospect of
yet another missed planting season in spring 2005 is all too distinct. The
secondary planting season, which should already be underway in parts of Darfur, will
almost certainly be missed, creating yet greater food dependency.

Looming over this entirely grim situation is the difficulty of seeing how
African agricultural societies can be re-established in areas that have seen
unspeakable genocidal violence, village destruction, and a breakdown in African-Arab
relations and patterns of co-existence. Given present emergency conditions, the
absence of a reconstruction plan is entirely understandable. But the
humanitarian community must soon begin to address the question of how aid can be
sustained for next six months to a year, and how the agricultural economy of Darfur
can again become self-sufficient. The challenges can hardly be overstated.

MEANINGFUL ACTION

The only response that can change the fundamental dynamic of ongoing human
destruction is humanitarian intervention, in either a permissive or non-permissive
environment, with all necessary military support. A non-UN consortium of
nations, acting in concert with the African Union, must issue an ultimatum to
Khartoum demanding that it allow the deployment of a substantial peacekeeping force,
ideally of at least 20,000 troops initially, with more to follow. This will
require nations such as the US, Britain, Sweden, Germany, Australia, New Zealand,
Norway and others to commit the financial and material resources that will
permit the African Union to deploy. Rwanda, Nigeria, and Tanzania have offered to
commit the necessary troops, but they will require massive logistical and
transport assistance, and very substantial materiel.

Perhaps Canada, so long disgracefully immobilized in responding to Sudan's
crises, can also be brought along. To be sure, it is troubling that Prime Minister
Paul Martin yesterday baldly lied at the UN, declaring that the international
community "should have intervened last June when Canada called for it." Canada
made no such "call." But it is encouraging that Mr. Martin is now so emphatic,
even though his UN remarks contained no specifics about the nature of such
intervention, or precisely how it would be guided by the notion of a
"responsibility to protect," a Canadian-funded product that has so far had no impact on
Canadian foreign policy in Africa.

But the broad goals of a humanitarian intervention are clear, and these in turn
dictate the nature and mandate of any intervening military force, as well as
the degree to which transport and logistical capacity must be enhanced. The
situation on the ground will be determined to a very considerable extent by whether
Khartoum decides to create a permissive or non-permissive environment for
intervention. No environment will be completely "permissive" and in either event,
deployed troops must have robust rules of engagement with the Janjaweed,
"police" forces, other paramilitary forces, and Khartoum's regular army forces.

[1] Sufficient troops in an initial deployment to protect approximately 200
camps and vulnerable concentrations of displaced persons; all Khartoum's "police"
and security forces, including the Janjaweed, must be removed from the camps
and the camp environs;

[2] Concomitant deployment of sufficient troops to protect vulnerable
humanitarian workers and key humanitarian transport corridors;

[3] Dedication of transport and logistical resources to bring monthly capacity
for food and non-food items to 40,000 metric tons;

[4] A commitment to substantial repairs of the rail line running from Port
Sudan to Nyala; the rail line should be internationalized, and dedicated
exclusively to enhancing humanitarian transport capacity (without such augmented rail
capacity, transport costs over the next year and more will be exorbitant);

[5] Secondary deployment of troops sufficient to begin to secure villages and
farm-land that have been ravaged by the predations of the Janjaweed and
Khartoum's regular military forces; the return of displaced persons must be voluntary,
and robust protection must be provided to early returnees;

[6] Seeds, agricultural implements, donkeys, and sustaining food supplies must
be provided to returnees.

This is but an outline of the international response demanded by Darfur's
catastrophe. But even in outline, such a plan should oblige those proposing other
responses to explain how they will achieve the goals articulated here---or why
such goals can be allowed to go unmet. Humanitarian intervention is expensive,
difficult, and politically risky. In the face of massive genocidal
destruction, the world must ask if these are reasons enough for inaction.

Eric Reeves
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

ereeves@smith.edu


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