Nairobi/Brussels, 12 October 2006: With Khartoum continuing to reject the expanded UN mission in Darfur, the international community must take strong economic and legal, and some new military measures to change the regime’s calculation of the costs of non-cooperation.
Getting the UN into Darfur,* the latest policy briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines ways out of the impasse over deploying a major UN peacekeeping force. Pressure on the ruling National Congress Party should include targeted sanctions on key regime figures, an investigation into the offshore accounts of its businesses, encouraging divestment campaigns, some measures against the petroleum sector, maintaining the threat of International Criminal Court prosecutions for atrocity crimes, and moving to enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur.
“There is a third way between the current approach of gentle persuasion and a full-scale, non-consensual military intervention”, says John Prendergast, Crisis Group Senior Adviser. “We need a series of economic, legal and more limited military measures that impose a cost on regime officials responsible for continuing the destruction and blocking the UN force”.
On 31 August, Security Council Resolution 1706 authorised a UN mission of at least 20,600 troops and police to deploy to Darfur with a Chapter VII mandate allowing the protective use of force. Sudan’s consent for this deployment, which would replace the over-stretched African Union (AU) force, is only “invited” not required, but troop contributing countries are unwilling to take part if Khartoum does not agree.
Getting Khartoum to agree means upping the international pressure with four measures:
applying targeted sanctions, such as asset freezes and travel bans, to key NCP leaders who have already been identified by UN-sponsored investigations as responsible for atrocities in Darfur, and encouraging divestment campaigns;
authorising through the Security Council a forensic accounting firm or a panel of experts to investigate the offshore accounts of the NCP and NCP-affiliated businesses so as to pave the way for economic sanctions against the regime’s commercial entities;
exploring sanctions on aspects of Sudan’s petroleum sector, to include at least bars on investment and provision of technical equipment and expertise ; and
planning to enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur by French and U.S. assets in the region, with NATO support; obtaining Chad’s consent to a rapid-reaction force on its Sudan border; and, if everything else fails to change government policies and the situation worsens, contingency planning for non-consensual deployment of 40,000 to 50,000 peace enforcers to Darfur.
The U.S., UN, AU and European Union, should act together to the greatest extent possible but as necessary in smaller constellations and even unilaterally.
“Strengthening the AU is not a long-term solution. Non-consensual deployment criteria are not yet met – there remain steps to try, and it would be desperately difficult, risking making matters for civilians even worse”, says David Mozersky, Horn of Africa Project Director. “But if the situation continues to deteriorate, and the NCP still refuses UN peacekeepers, there may be no other way”.
To find out more, visit our “Crisis in Darfur” page, which has links to Crisis Group’s reports and opinion pieces on the conflict, details of our advocacy efforts to date, links to other resources, and information on what you can do to support Crisis Group’s efforts.
Getting the UN into Darfur media release International Crisis Group