Financial Sanctions may be the only way.

11 Sep

UN Security Council to Meet on Darfur from VOA

The United Nations Security Council meets today (Monday) to discuss the situation in Darfur. News sources say the meeting is aimed at convincing Khartoum to accept the deployment of the UN peacekeeping force in Darfur. Sudan has said it does not want the force — which one high-rankng Sudanese official last week referred to as a potential “occupation.”

Eric Reeves is a full time researcher and analyst on Sudan at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He told reporter William Eagle that he’s not optimistic that today’s meeting will bring about change: “There’s no evidence that the security council is prepared to exert the necessary pressure on those members whose requirement is essential to move beyond current stalemate. China has given no evidence it will be anything but firm backer of Khartoum.”

In a recent column in the Washington Post newspaper, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Dole suggested the United States should call on the European Union to impose financial sanctions against the Sudanese leadership. They also suggested NATO should establish and enforce a no fly-zone over Darfur. Professor Reeves agrees that Europe could use financial means – such as impeding debt relief to Sudan – to influence Khartoum. However, he calls the idea of a no fly zone a “red herring” in current discussions over securing the peace in Darfur: “We must recognize that the Antonov bombers are the same aircraft used for humanitarian purposes to ferry food, medicine, and human workers into Dafur,” he said. “We’re talking about a very difficult and dangerous task discriminating between Antonovs carrying bombs and those carrying humanitarian supplies and workers. The last thing we would want (and what Khartoum would want above all else) would be to see us shoot down as part of a no-fly zone protocol the wrong kind of Antonov.” He adds that, “Helicopter gun ships (potentially flown by Khartoum or its allies), which are the other primary source of aerial military assault, can fly so close to the ground that without exceptional AWAC coverage over the ground, they would fly undetected. This leaves aside the difficulty of basing the AWAC aircraft and the at least two squadrons of jet fighters required to deploy quickly to the sites of the attack. The major offensive underway now is in north Darur and the airbase in El Fashr, the capital, is only 100 km from most of the targets. The idea of detecting and interdicting even helicopter gun ships flying 100 km from these attacks strikes me as not entirely feasible and would require a commitment of a lot of surveillance technology…. which would be much better deployed in supporting the AU (force) – which is desperate and crumbling — or in moving more expeditiously to deployment of a UN force whenever that becomes possible.”

listen to interview with professor Eric Reeves


Posted by on September 11, 2006 in Bookmarks, genocide, The Sudan


4 responses to “Financial Sanctions may be the only way.

  1. Black River Eagle

    September 12, 2006 at 10:01 am

    One of my readers notified me about your blog recently, and from what I have read so far you are doing an excellent job on covering news and issues re: Darfur. I would like to cross-post your post to my blog with a link to the interview with Professor Eric Reeves with your permission. Also, what is source of this interview (Democracy Now, NPR) and who is the interviewer? Is there a copy of the text (transcript) available online? Thanks in advance for your help answering my questions.

  2. cooper

    September 12, 2006 at 11:35 am

    The source is Voice of America, the link is at the top of the page and the reporter was William Eagle.

    You don’t need my permissions it is from VOA so just post a link to them if you use it.

  3. weirsdo

    September 14, 2006 at 12:25 pm

    EU sanctions? Against an oil producing nation???? And just let the Chinese sit on it? No doubt a good idea, but how might one drum up support?

  4. Ha Ana Za

    September 17, 2006 at 7:23 am

    Having understood little/ next to nothing about Darfur, your blog really helped to educate me about the catastrophe that is going on beneath our noses.
    You’re providing a voice for millions who have been affected by this crisis.
    I have written a short (probably v.inaccurate) article about what is happening in Darfur and have linked to your site, please don’t hesitate to comment if there is anything amiss.
    Many Thanks


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