According to the associated press, Darfur Peacekeeping Set Back by 6 Months
U.N. peacekeeping forces lack the troops and equipment necessary to improve the situation in violence-wracked Darfur and will continue to be ineffective until mid-2008, the U.N. peacekeeping chief cautioned Wednesday.
United Nations officials are discussing with Ukraine and Russia ways of obtaining helicopters and other equipment while also considering pulling them away from other U.N. peacekeeping missions, said Jean-Marie Guehenno, the U.N. undersecretary-general for peacekeeping.
Guehenno’s warnings of “dire consequences” for Sudan, during a half-hour report to U.N. Security Council members, raised questions about whether the African Union-United Nations peacekeeeping mission that took over just this month can provide even for its own security.
Something eerily similar was written almost a year and a half ago when Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission for the United Nations Mission in Sudan, speaking of the A U.N. Security Council resolution calling for 20,000 peacekeepers to replace the ill-equipped and underfunded AU force that had done little to prevent escalating violence in Darfur, told the associated press “I don’t expect the government to accept a U.N. transition any time soon”.
The Sudanese government has long opposed this type of force and it seems not much has changed.
“We do not yet have guaranteed agreements from the (Sudanese) government on basic technical issues,” Guehenno told the council. “The mission itself will not have the personnel or assets in place to implement its mandate for many months, even in the best-case scenario.”
Khartoum has long resisted such a force, insisting it must be predominantly African.
“There is no good reason that these issues should persist ad infinitum,” Guehenno said. “It is clear that these deployments must move more quickly if we are to have a material impact on the situation in the first half of this year.”
He said there has been “a grave deterioration of the security situation” since his last briefing to the council a month ago.