THE BRUTAL REGIME in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, has orchestrated genocidal counter-insurgency war in Darfur for five years, and is now poised for victory in its ghastly assault on the region's African populations.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1769, adopted in July, authorized a force of 26,000 troops and civilian police to protect Darfur's civilians and the humanitarian groups serving some 4.2 million desperate people. Without protection, these groups will be forced to withdraw. But Khartoum has obstructed the force authorized by the UN, and final success in these efforts seems within grasp. On Nov. 26, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, the UN undersecretary for peacekeeping, raised the prospect that the UN-authorized force for Darfur may have to be aborted because of Khartoum's actions.
Guéhenno asked a question that answered itself: "Do we move ahead with the deployment of a force that will not make a difference, that will not have the capability to defend itself and that carries the risk of humiliation of the Security Council and the United Nations and tragic failure for the people of Darfur?"
The unprecedented UN/African Union "hybrid" mission for Darfur (UNAMID) has been badly hurt by the refusal of militarily capable nations to provide the two dozen helicopters required, at the least, for operations in Darfur. No NATO country has offered even one helicopter - a sign that, despite fulsome rhetoric, these nations' real concern for Darfur is minimal. But it is Khartoum's brazen obduracy that threatens to leave the people of Darfur without protection. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>