The international community has apparently capitulated to Sudan’s stiff-necked opposition to United Nations peacekeepers, buoying the Arab militias to heighten their slash and burn campaign across the region.
Vicious clashes between the militias and members of the Sudan Liberation Movement, a former rebel group, have been reported this week in El Fasher, Darfur’s administrative capital.
The peace deal half-heartedly signed in May by the government and a splinter rebel group is dead and buried.
More attacks are expected as the war precipitously spreads across north-central Africa into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic.
We want to go back home,” was the piercing cry let out by the thousands of tear-stained faces I met in Darfur’s displaced camps.
Sadly, they won’t be returning home anytime soon.
Khartoum and the rebels’ tenuous commitment to restoring peace also make a lasting solution to the deadly maelstrom a pipe dream. Since the inking of a 2004 ceasefire and a 2006 peace deal, many more villages have been shredded by the military, government-allied militias and rebels alike in their deadly jaunts across the region’s hamlets.
Khartoum must return to the negotiating table with the disaffected rebel groups that are currently landing massive blows on government targets and fanning violence in the region. The glimmer of hope resulting from Sudan’s recent half-hearted acceptance of badly needed U.N. support to the African Union force remains just that.
Sudan’s stiff opposition to a substantive U.N. peacekeeping force won’t cut it for long. The panoptic spread of the conflict warrants an all-out intervention that only the U.N. can ably offer.
Well-intentioned and ambitious it may be, but the A.U. simply isn’t equal to the task. It has neither run a successful peacekeeping force anywhere nor resolved any conflict.
Though it will ease humanitarian operations in the region, U.N. logistical and technical support for the A.U. on Sudan’s terms won’t resolve the conflict.