South Africa and Darfur
The position of the government of South Africa vis-à-vis the situation in Darfur is characterised by indifference to the suffering of the victims of this human tragedy. Although South Africa participated in the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS), and has sent some military and police forces to Darfur, the effectiveness of its contribution remains disproportionate to the role of political leadership that it actively pursues in relation to the Dafurian situation.
Out of the total AMIS authorised troops of 6,171 military and 1,560 police personnel, South Africa has contributed some 600 individuals. Recently, we have observed that the government of South Africa increasingly supports the Khartoum government in its handling of Darfur. South Africa continues to use its membership of the AU Peace and Security Council to back the position assumed by Sudan and its north and east African allies within AU institutions. At the international level the country follows a similar policy. On no less than a dozen occasions, South Africa has used its membership of the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council to oppose and water down projects and resolutions which could have helped provide the victims of the armed conflict in Darfur with protection and relief. Below are some examples of South Africa's callous position on Darfur.
On 12 July 2007, three members of the UN Security Council, Britain, France and Ghana, submitted a draft resolution for consideration and action by other members of the council. Because of the gravity of the situation on the ground, the resolution was tabled under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The draft text approved the 'hybrid' African Union-United Nations force. Although the text was reasonably prepared, it ran into strong opposition from some council members, in particular China and South Africa took the lead. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>