<$BlogRSDURL$>

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Humanitarian Intervention for Darfur: Does the International Will 

No evidence from the UN, US, or Europeans (Part 2 of a two-part
analysis)

Eric Reeves
March 31, 2005

The signs of a deteriorating humanitarian situation continue to be
evident everywhere in Darfur: from acute water shortages in some of the
largest camps for displaced persons (see below), to the security
pull-back of UN personnel in West Darfur, to the Janjaweed shooting of a
worker for the US Agency for International Development near Bulbul in
South Darfur, to meningitis in North Darfur and dysentery in South
Darfur, to an excessive reliance on very expensive air transport for
food delivery. And at virtually every point, the food, health, and
transport issues defining this vast humanitarian crisis are directly
related to a lack of security.

In turn, this insecurity derives from the Khartoum regime's refusal,
despite a UN Security Council "demand," to control the Janjaweed
militia. Moreover, Khartoum refuses to stand down militarily and in
fact is engaged in a large-scale military build-up in West Darfur. The
insurgency movements for their part are increasingly fractured and
unrealistic in their diplomatic expectations; they have also become
desperate for food, fuel, and supplies, and their resulting actions
often betray the people of Darfur. At the same time, diplomatic
progress is non-existent: more than three months after the collapse of
African Union-mediated talks in Abuja (Nigeria) there is still no date
for resumed peace negotiations.

Caught in a maelstrom of violence, deprivation, and brutal destruction
are more than 3 million Darfuri civilians. Almost 400,000 have already
perished from violence, disease, and malnutrition in more than two years
of conflict and displacement (see March 11, 2005 mortality assessment by
this writer at
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=44&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0).
Hundreds of thousands more will die cruel deaths in the coming months
and years unless there is urgent humanitarian intervention, with all
necessary military support. The tasks of such intervention are clearly
far beyond the abilities and capacity of the African Union, even if it
had the political will to demand of Khartoum a mandate that included
civilian protection. Instead, under the cynical leadership of Nigeria,
the AU remains content with a force size dramatically inadequate to the
security needs of Darfur and an official mandate merely to monitor a
non-existent cease-fire.

Truly meaningful international response is now so belated that it is
increasingly difficult to see how the mortality total for Darfur will
not eventually exceed that of the Rwandan genocide, whose grim
anniversary (April 7th) is fast approaching. Last year's tenth
anniversary produced a large outpouring of commentary that linked events
in Darfur to international acquiescence in the slaughter of 1994. A
full year later those links are all the more conspicuous, and all the
more shaming. Despite this, there are no signs that international
leaders---in the UN, the US, or Europe---are willing to intervene to
protect civilians in Darfur, though they are as vulnerable to famine,
disease, and the Janjaweed as the Tutsis and moderate Hutus of Rwanda
were vulnerable to the violence inspired by the Interahamwe.

We have failed Darfur and as has been the case for many months, the
only issue is the scale of that moral failure. For though catastrophe
cannot be averted, it could still be mitigated with urgent intervention
(see Part 1 of this analysis:
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=46&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0).


THE U.S. EFFORT: KEEP THE ISSUE OF HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION FROM
ARISING

Shamefully, recent comments by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice give
clear indication of how little the US is willing to address directly the
issue of humanitarian intervention. Rice was asked by Washington Post
journalists, "how many peacekeepers do you think it would take to stop
the genocide in Darfur?" Rice's response:

"SECRETARY RICE: I can't give a number. The problem right now is that
we've got to find a way to leverage the north-south agreement---"
(Washington Post, March 25, 2005)

As critically important as the north/south agreement is, few think that
it will survive unless the crisis in Darfur is addressed effectively.
Nor can the north/south agreement in itself be a means for civilian
protection in Darfur, or even provide diplomatic incentive for the
Khartoum regime to negotiate meaningfully. On the contrary, Khartoum is
convinced that the international community is so intent on preserving
the north/south agreement that there will be little pressure on the
regime to halt genocide in Darfur. The weak set of sanctions and
nominal "arms embargo" that were part of yesterday's UN Security Council
resolution (March 30, 2005) largely confirm this cynical assessment,
despite the contrived outrage by Khartoum's UN ambassador.

But let us be clear about the meaning of Secretary Rice's response to
the Washington Post: in refusing to answer directly a very specific
question about stopping genocide in Darfur, and immediately changing the
subject to the north/south agreement, she makes clear that this is not
so much a question for which she "can't" provide an answer, but rather
one she simply refuses to answer.

On eventually returning to the question about the force needed in
Darfur, Rice declared:

"The [African Union] ceiling is 3,400 and the AU has said they'd like
to go to five or six thousand. I think we ought to try to fully realize
that."

But of course a force of 6,000---especially lacking a mandate to
protect civilians---is dramatically inadequate to the security needs of
Darfur, and the Washington Post questioner persisted: "But hence my
question. I mean, if you go to six thousand would that be enough?"

Rice's response tells us all too much about the Bush administration's
refusal to consider humanitarian intervention, even as it becomes
increasingly clear that without such intervention Mr. Bush will oversee
precisely the genocide of which he declared early in his first
administration: "not on my watch" (referring to a memo on the Clinton
administration failure to respond to genocide in Rwanda).

"SECRETARY RICE: Well, [the AU] is a monitoring mechanism that has a
chance of making a big difference as even a small monitoring mechanism
has made."

This is at once partially accurate and cynically deceptive. For the AU
force is indeed merely a "monitoring mechanism," not a means of civilian
protection. The AU is tasked with "monitoring" a cease-fire that has
never had any real meaning since first negotiated on April 8, 2004 and
essentially reiterated November 9, 2004. But more importantly, the AU
has made a significant difference only in the very few pockets in which
it has been able to deploy some of the 2,200 personnel who have taken
half a year to reach Darfur.

Yet again the Washington Post questioner persisted, only to be met
again with deliberate obfuscation and cynicism:

"WASHINGTON POST: [Jan Egeland, UN Humanitarian Coordinator] said in
December to the Financial Times that if the deterioration of
humanitarian access continued, he could imagine 100,000 people dying a
month, which would put the number at about six times the death toll in
2004. Does that sound like a plausible---"

"SECRETARY RICE: I just can't judge. We spend every day trying to avoid
the problem, trying to solve the problem." (Washington Post, March 25,
2005)

But course Rice and the Bush administration must judge: judgment
involving the fate of many hundreds of thousands of lives at risk cannot
be deferred. If Egeland is right---if insecurity may force the
withdrawal of humanitarian aid workers, and result in as many as 100,000
deaths every month---this is not a matter on which judgment can wait.
The "problem," as the Washington Post question makes perfectly clear, is
one that hinges on civilian and humanitarian protection. The "problem"
cannot be "avoided": it is already upon the people of Darfur and the
humanitarian workers attempting to operate under intolerable security
conditions.

This is the real meaning of the near-fatal wounding of a US Agency for
International Development worker by the Janjaweed near Bulbul on the
road between Kass and Nyala, in an area where the Janjaweed are very
reliably reported to have increased their presence in the days
immediately prior to the shooting.

Nothing could be clearer than that Secretary Rice is unwilling to
address directly or honestly questions about civilian security in Darfur
and the importance of security for humanitarian operations. In turn,
there is no willingness to speak honestly about the severe limitations
of the AU force or the need for international humanitarian intervention.


Indeed, a measure of how far the Bush administration is willing to go
in keeping humanitarian intervention out of policy discussions can be
discerned in uncritical support for Nigeria as current AU Chair. A
well-positioned and highly reliable government source reports
authoritatively that the Bush administration has fulsomely and
uncritically (though of course not publicly) commended the Nigerians for
their Darfur "leadership." This is not because Nigeria has led
helpfully, but rather because Nigeria cleaves most insistently to the
notion of "African solutions for African problems," thereby obviating
the need for the US to articulate a role in any intervention.

So long as this perverse insistence prevails---and so long as Nigeria
remains insufficiently challenged by countries like Rwanda, Senegal,
Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, Mozambique, South Africa---then Darfur is well
on its way to becoming a terrible measure of just how badly Africa can
fail Africans.

For the painfully obvious fact cannot be too often stated in the
context of ongoing ethnically-targeted human destruction in Darfur: the
present AU force of 2,200 personnel, or even the contemplated 6,000 AU
personnel, cannot possibly undertake the essential civilian protection
tasks now so urgently evident. To suggest otherwise, as Rice attempts
to do, is to allow us to see the insidious ways in which the people of
Darfur will be abandoned to the Janjaweed, to famine, to indefinite life
in camps that are slow killing grounds.

But there is little evidence that the UN or the Europeans are any more
willing than the US to address honestly the security needs that press
ever more insistently on Darfuris and humanitarian operations in Darfur.
A press statement accompanying the release of a highly important new
report from the UK House of Commons, International Development Committee
("Darfur, Sudan: The responsibility to protect," March 30, 2005)
declares all too accurately that the international response to Darfur
has been "scandalously ineffective":

"[This] report points to a catalogue of failings by the international
community---by governments including the UK's, by the humanitarian
system and by the UN Security Council. Early warnings about the
emerging crisis [in Darfur] were ignored, humanitarian agencies were
slow to respond, responsibilities for helping displaced people and
managing camps were unclear, and the UN suffered from an avoidable
leadership vacuum in Sudan at a critical time."

Even so, the Blair government still refuses to take a serious
leadership role in addressing the various issues raised by this
authoritative new report on Darfur, indeed has already responded
defensively. Certainly no country or international actor is responsibly
articulating the essential civilian and humanitarian protection issues
that must be addressed if the world is to halt the destruction of
additional hundreds of thousands of lives (the Committee Report offers a
mortality figure of approximately 300,000, page 3).

Any honest enumeration of security tasks works to highlight the gross
inadequacy of the currently deployed AU force, and the overall inability
of the AU Peace and Security Commission---with present resources---to
respond in anything like appropriate fashion:

[1] Provision of security to the scores of camps for displaced persons,
with security perimeters that allow for the collection of firewood,
food, and animal fodder;

[2] Securing all humanitarian corridors to and within Darfur, both by
means of active patrols and accompanying security details for all
convoys requesting protection;

[3] The opening of safe passage routes from rural areas currently
beyond the reach of humanitarian operations, thereby allowing the free
movement of people who have depleted food reserves;

[4] The dismantling of checkpoints on key road arteries, many of which
are now maintained by bandits and other lawless elements;

[5] Provision of safe passage and protection to civilians who wish to
return to their villages, or the sites of their former villages, in
order to resume agriculturally productive lives.

Other key military tasks include:

[6] Given the conspicuous impracticability of enforcing a conventional
"no-fly zone"---Chad will not permit deployment of the requisite
aircraft on its territory; Khartoum's helicopter gunships fly too low
for meaningful AWACS coverage; and Antonovs are used for both military
and civilian purposes, and cannot be distinguished in their purpose from
the air---forces on the ground in Darfur must mechanically disable or
destroy any military aircraft implicated in violations of international
law, in particular attacks on civilian targets. Alternatively, Khartoum
must be given an ultimatum: "Remove all military aircraft from the
Darfur region or they will be destroyed on the ground by unmanned aerial
military assets."

[7] Most importantly, cantonment and eventual disarmament of the
Janjaweed, per the "demand" of UN Security Resolution 1556 (July 30,
2004). Until the international community makes good on this singular
"demand," the Janjaweed will continue to be a savagely effective
weapon of civilian terror.

Khartoum discerns all too accurately in the UN's unwillingness to
enforce this "demand" an appropriate gauge for measuring commitment to
the modest sanctions regime and ineffective "arms embargo" contained in
yesterday's Security Council resolution. The resolution creates a
Council Committee that is supposed to monitor the "arms embargo" (sure
to be ignored by Khartoum's most aggressive arms providers, Russia and
China---who both abstained in the resolution vote). The Council
Committee is also tasked with designating individuals "who impede the
peace process, constitute a threat to stability in Darfur and the
region, commit violations of international humanitarian or human rights
law or other atrocities," violate prior embargoes, "or are responsible
for offensive military overflights":

"Governments should freeze the funds, financial assets and economic
resources of these individuals in their countries, as well as the assets
of the entities those individuals own, the Council said." (UN News
Center, March 30, 2005)

But for anyone who understands the National Islamic Front (NIF), it is
patently clear that these measures will simply not change genocidal
calculations among the ruthless survivalists who make up this regime;
nor will such measures do anything to change the behavior of the
Janjaweed, most of whom are unlikely ever to learn of yesterday's
actions in New York.

Compounding the weakness of the Security Council resolution is an
inexcusably expansive time-frame, reflecting a refusal to accept the
urgency of the catastrophe in Darfur:

"The Council asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan, within 30 days of the
approval of the resolution, to appoint for six months a four-member
Panel of Experts based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to travel regularly to
El-Fasher and other locations in Sudan. The Panel should report back
within 90 days of the approval of the resolution and submit a final
report no later than 30 days before its mandate expires." (UN News
Center, March 30, 2005)

Such leisure is at once wholly inappropriate to the critical nature of
Darfur's needs, and suggestive of how thoroughly unlikely any more
urgent or vigorous response by the UN has become.

AN ICC REFERRAL AND CIVILIAN PROTECTION

Violent human destruction and genocide by attrition continue in Darfur,
even as the international community refuses to talk meaningfully about
an intervening force that might halt violence and improve security for
humanitarian operations. For their part, some human rights groups have
also found a way to avoid the central issue in Darfur, viz. civilian and
humanitarian protection. For by focusing so exclusively on a referral
of Darfur's war crimes to the International Criminal Court, a few of
these groups reveal themselves to believe that such referral is an end
in itself, an actual means of civilian protection. A Human Rights Watch
(HRW) release of March 24, 2005 is only the most unhappily revealing,
with its claim that the threat of prosecution at the ICC "could
immediately deter further violence in Darfur" (HRW [Brussels], "US
Thwarts Justice for Darfur," March 24, 2005).

There is simply no evidence that this is the case, and in its
overstatement the HRW claim is little more than an expedient effort to
achieve legitimacy for the ICC (which this writer strongly supports,
including as the venue for violations of international law in Darfur).
By focusing so exclusively on the issue of criminal venue---at the
expense of advocacy for intervention that might truly "deter further
violence in Darfur"---HRW has allowed a broader political agenda to
trump real concern for the civilians of Darfur.

Moreover, there seems to be a willingness by HRW and others to ignore
the basic political and diplomatic realities that govern the thinking of
Khartoum's genocidaires. For why would men such as First Vice President
Ali Osman Taha, Head of Security Saleh 'Gosh,' Interior Minister Abdel
Rahman Mohamed Hussein, and many others---already under sealed
indictment for massive crimes against humanity---feel that they have
anything to risk by committing further crimes in Darfur? How could
their culpability possibly increase? How, then, can there be a
deterrent effect?

We may be sure that only forcible extradition will ever see those most
guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur delivered to
The Hague---and forcible extradition will occur only if the regime
falls. Adamant comments from senior NIF officials have repeatedly (and
here quite plausibly) made clear that they will allow no Sudanese to be
tried abroad. Support for this position exists within both the Arab
League and the AU, only encouraging Khartoum's intransigence.

In short, there is nothing credible about HRW's argument for
deterrence; it ends by becoming another way of avoiding meaningful
discussion of what will truly deter violence: robust humanitarian
intervention with all necessary military support. To be sure, HRW is
far from alone in refusing to offer a frank assessment of the inadequacy
of the AU force, as well as the political failure of the AU to push for
a clear civilian protection mandate. But in suggesting that there is an
alternative means of halting the violence, in the form of an ICC
referral for war crimes in Darfur, the organization actually works
against the possibilities of true civilian protection.

It is finally not surprising in this context that we find greater
honesty coming from some of the humanitarian organizations that are
actually operating in Darfur, and attempting to save lives amidst
intolerable security risks:

"Oxfam believes that by agreeing governments' responsibilities to
protect civilians, and clear criteria for UN-authorized military
intervention as a last resort, the international community could make
significant strides towards ending the obscene levels of civilian
suffering in today's conflict zones.
'From Rwanda to Darfur, the United Nations system has time and again
failed to mobilise the political will and funds needed to protect
civilians,' said Oxfam's [Nicola] Reindorp. 'Ultimately governments have
the power and the responsibility to act to save lives.'" (Oxfam press
release [New York], March 21, 2005)

These powerful words reflect essential truths about Darfur. Will they
be heeded? It appears extremely unlikely, though there may be a slow
(and no doubt exuberantly praised) increase in the size of the AU force.


Here we must recall yet again that it has required half a year to
deploy 2,200 personnel--inadequately equipped and supplied---and without
a civilian protection mandate. Moreover, AU administrative capacity in
Addis Ababa headquarters is still clearly inadequate to this operation,
as are AU logistics and transport capacity. The mooted increase in the
size of the AU force (to 6,000 personnel), and the recent proposals from
the UN's Jan Pronk and Jan Egeland for an AU force only slightly larger
(8,000-9000 personnel), represent a refusal to accept honestly the
violent realities in Darfur---or the real scale of humanitarian need,
especially in the form of increased security for humanitarian workers
and operations.

HUMANITARIAN CONDITIONS AND INSECURITY

Without humanitarian intervention that vastly exceeds what has been
proposed by the AU or the UN (see detailed analysis by this writer at
http://www.sudanreeves.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=46&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0),
we must assess humanitarian conditions going forward on the basis of
current capacity and the relentless increase in conflict-affected
persons. Moreover, as the rainy season approaches (June through
September), logistical and transport shortcomings that are even now
evident will become overwhelming, and the possibilities for immensely
destructive epidemics from water-borne diseases will increase
dramatically in hopelessly overcrowded camps for displaced persons (who
have essentially doubled in number since the start of last year's rainy
season).

The most recent (and truncated) UN Darfur Humanitarian Profile is
offered as both Nos. 11 and 12 (March 1, 2005). Data in this Profile(s)
reflect only accessible populations, those captured statistically
primarily by UN World Food Program registrations. Using these data, the
UN concludes that the number of conflict-affected persons has increased
by only about 50,000 since January 1, 2005 (the date of record for
Profile No. 10), to 2.45 million people. Significantly, this figure
does not include the Darfuri refugee population in eastern Chad
(approximately 200,000 according to the UN High Commission for
Refugees); nor does it include the highly distressed populations in
rural areas that are presently beyond humanitarian reach (as many as 1
million additional people).

Though we may be sure that much of this rural population is desperate
for humanitarian assistance, and that food reserves are increasingly
exhausted, insecurity in the form of an unconstrained Janjaweed presence
makes safe passage impossible for many of these people. Creating such
safe passage is one of the most urgent tasks for a humanitarian
intervention force.

The static nature of the UN reporting for both "conflict-affected"
persons and Internally Displaced Persons (unchanged since January 1,
2005 at approximately 1.85 million) strongly suggests the limitations of
the data presented. For January was an extraordinarily violent month,
with many reports from the ground suggesting displacement far greater
than what is reflected in WFP registrations. A more useful guide is the
authoritatively researched new House of Commons report, which speaks of
a population in need of humanitarian assistance "that looks likely to
rise to 4 million over the course of 2005," page 3).

To be sure, Khartoum is blocking deployment of UN World Health
Organization mortality epidemiologists; and as Profile Nos. 11/12
suggest, Khartoum is also impeding humanitarian activities:

"Increasing levels of harassment, detentions, accusations through
national media outlets and others security incidents involving relief
workers are placing further strains on humanitarian operations. Though
responsible for the overwhelming majority of incidents, the Government
of Sudan is not the only party guilty of intimidating humanitarians and
denying Darfurians access to humanitarian assistance." [The insurgency
groups are here criticized] (UN Darfur Humanitarian Profile Nos.11/12,
page 5)

Such deliberate obstruction and intimidation of relief efforts will not
end without a robust intervening force. Indeed, as the Profile
explicitly declares: "Security is currently the paramount factor
limiting the delivery of humanitarian aid" (page 5). This simply will
not change without humanitarian intervention, and to wish it otherwise,
or prefer further "negotiations" with Khartoum, is simply to acquiesce
before the genocidal ambitions of a regime that senses a ghastly
victory. For within as little as another half-year, genocide by
attrition will see the overwhelming majority of African populations in
Darfur displaced and dispossessed, killed, or threatened with chronic
food shortages.

The larger agricultural economy has collapsed (threatening all of
Darfur's populations), and food markets are experiencing exorbitant
inflation that will make it impossible for increasing numbers of
displaced and non-displaced persons to purchase food. Food dependency,
the warehousing of human beings in large camps characterized by
appalling conditions, insufficient water (see below), and gradual
cultural extinction define the bleak future for as many as 4 million
Darfuris. This is the outlook for Darfur without humanitarian
intervention.

WATER IN DARFUR: A DIMINISHING COMMODITY

Despite many months of humanitarian deployment and effort, over 40% of
the people in displaced persons camps have no access to clean water
(Darfur Humanitarian Profile Nos. 11/12, page 7). In a related issue of
gravest concern, approximately a third of the camp populations have no
access to sanitary facilities. This latter shortcoming will have
enormous consequences in the coming rainy season (June through
September) when many of these camps will again become open sewers, with
tremendous increases in the risk from water-borne diseases.

A shortage in clean water derives from the extraordinarily difficult
circumstances of present humanitarian operations in Darfur (which is
experiencing a severe drought), and the intolerable overcrowding
produced by pervasive, extreme insecurity. Voice of America provides a
recent account of telling problems in Kalma Camp, South Darfur:

"Aid workers say people living in the largest displaced persons camp in
[Darfur] are facing serious water shortages, primarily because of a
severe drought in the area. A senior program officer at the UN
children's agency, Marc Salvail, tells VOA that Kalma camp, which
contains as many as 150,000 people who have fled fighting in the
war-torn region, is running short of water. He says the water shortage
is causing major problems in the camp. 'You have a lot of cases of
diarrhea, you have a lot of cases of skin diseases due to the fact that
water is not sufficient,' Salvail said. 'When you do not have sufficient
water, people may not use water to wash their hands after going to the
toilet. People also wash less frequently. So a lot of diseases are
transmitted because of this.'"

"Salvail says each person in the camp should get a minimum of 20 liters
of water a day for personal use. But most people are getting 10 to 15
liters a day. He says water supplies are only catering for about 60% of
the population, with the remaining 40% not having access to safe
drinking water." (VOA, March 16, 2005)

The Christian Science Monitor also recently reported on the water
crisis in the camps, and the violence it has sparked among people who
are getting far less water than humanly required:

"Aziz Rahman Azizi, an Afghan water-sanitation engineer working for
Doctors Without Borders [said], 'This is the middle of the dry season,
and it is getting hot. These people have been getting about six liters a
day. The minimum should be 10 liters,' he says. 'Of course [these camp
residents] are frustrated; we have not expanded our water supplies since
November, when there were only 80,000 people here,' [Azizi] says. Now
150,000 inhabitants share one well, five boreholes, and 18 hand pumps
that usually run dry by sunset." (CSM [South Darfur], March 14, 2005)

Drought, severe camp overcrowding because of pervasive insecurity,
Khartoum's obstructionism, and the ongoing threat to humanitarian
workers: in the extremely arid environment of Darfur this ensures that
lack of adequate clean water now serves as yet another instrument of
genocide by attrition, yet another means by which the regime is
"deliberately inflicting on the [African tribal populations of
Darfur] conditions of life calculated to bring about [their] physical
destruction, in whole or in part."

CHALLENGES OF HUMANITARIAN INTERVENION

Absent international will to intervene, large-scale genocide in Darfur
will proceed unchecked. Present humanitarian efforts, though heroic,
are not enough; current humanitarian capacity is already overwhelmed by
the sheer numbers of displaced persons, and logistical and transport
difficulties will increase dramatically during the impending rainy
season. Another primary planting season (late spring/early summer) will
be lost, ensuring that there is no fall harvest. The size of the
food-dependent population confronting humanitarian efforts for the
foreseeable future will be far in excess of 2 million, even as present
capacity has stalled around 1.5 million---only approximately half those
in need within Darfur itself.

No successful humanitarian intervention can afford to ignore the
possibility that the insurgency groups will attempt to take military
advantage of any deployment of an appropriate number of troops, viz.
those required for the civilian and humanitarian protection measures
outlined above. But this needn't oblige a mindless military neutrality:
the mission should be defined by the needs of civilians and humanitarian
operations; military responses to Khartoum's regular military forces,
the Janjaweed, and the insurgents should be proportional to their
interference with this primary mission of human protection.

Nor can such intervention afford to ignore what will likely be
Khartoum's effort to retaliate for a claimed intrusion upon its
"national sovereignty." But the regime long ago surrendered any
claim of national sovereignty with its obdurate refusal to protect its
own civilians. As part of any humanitarian intervention, a highly
robust and mobile military force, with aggressive rules of engagement,
must be deployed quickly to react to any retaliatory attacks by the
Janjaweed against civilians or humanitarian workers.

The ominous foreign presence in Darfur---Yemeni, Saudi, Jordanian,
Iraqi---that has been reported by several authoritative sources can be
expected to engage in terrorist activities and must be actively
confronted. Khartoum must be put on forceful notice that it will be
held accountable for not only its own military actions and interference,
but those of the Janjaweed and any other non-regular military presence
allied with Khartoum.

The world is choosing to skirt these challenges, relying instead on the
fiction of near-term "diplomatic progress" and expedient arguments that
the African Union can somehow provide adequate human security in Darfur.
Such fiction and expediency, along with the dilatory proceedings at the
UN, provide an all too appropriate backdrop for next week's grim
anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

Again.

Eric Reeves
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063
ereeves@smith.edu
www.sudanreeves.org

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?