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Thread: Sudan Watch (to July 2012)

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    Default Sudan Watch (to July 2012)

    Moderators Note: This thread was a catch all thread for posts on the Sudan, there is a separate thread on 'South Sudan - stabilisation' and both contain a variety of subjects. On 6th July 2012 this thread was closed after a new catch all thread for Sudan 2012 was opened:
    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16026

    (ends)

    14 Jan. Reuters - U.N. Envoy Cites Darfur Failure; Wants 20,000 Troops.

    Attempts to bring peace to Sudan's Darfur region have failed and a U.N. peacekeeping force of 12,000 to 20,000 troops is needed to stop the killings and rape, the top U.N. official in Sudan said.

    Jan Pronk gave his most pessimistic assessment yet to the U.N. Security Council on Friday. He said marauding Arab militia were succeeding in their ethnic cleansing campaign, erasing village after village.

    "Looking back at three years of killings and cleansing in Darfur we must admit that our peace strategy so far has failed," Pronk said. "All we did was picking up the pieces and muddling through, doing too little too late."

    "At least once a month groups of 500 to 1000 militia on camel and horseback attack villages, killing dozens of people and terrorizing the others who flee away," Pronk said.

    The United Nations is contemplating a peacekeeping force in Darfur, where the African Union has fielded a force of 7,000 with a limited mandate and scarce funds. But U.N. peacekeeping officials have not planned for the high numbers of troops Pronk suggested...
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-06-2012 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Add Mods note updated today

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    Default Annan Pushes Bush on U.S. Troops for U.N. Darfur Force

    9 Feb Reuters - Annan Pushes Bush on U.S. Troops for U.N. Darfur Force.

    The United States should contribute troops and equipment to a planned new U.N. force designed to stop the killings and rape in Sudan's Darfur region, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday.

    Annan said he would press President George W. Bush on the issue when the two meet on Monday in Washington, along with expected discussions on Iran, Iraq and the controversy over cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad.

    Underfinanced African Union troops are now the only bulwark in Sudan against marauding militia and rebels, with some 7,000 monitors and soldiers on the ground. The U.N. Security Council this week authorized Annan to draw up contingency plans for U.N. peacekeepers to go into Darfur...

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    Default WFP: Lack of Security Threatens Darfur Relief Operation

    9 Feb Voice of America - WFP: Lack of Security Threatens Darfur Relief Operation.

    The World Food Program warns increasing insecurity in Sudan's conflict-ridden province of Darfur is jeopardizing its operations. The U.N. agency says attacks on food convoys and drivers are hampering efforts to get crucial supplies to thousands of needy people.

    The World Food Program says during the past two or three weeks, 20 trucks were attacked in northern and southern Darfur. WFP spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume says this particularly dangerous area is under rebel control. She says it is unclear whether bandits or members of the Sudan Liberation Army are behind the attacks...

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    Default Bush Calls For More Muscle In Darfur

    18 Feb Washington Post - Bush Calls For More Muscle In Darfur .

    President Bush on Friday called for doubling the number of international troops in the war-ravaged Darfur region of Sudan and a bigger role for NATO in the peacekeeping effort.

    Bush has concluded that peace talks will not halt the violence that has left tens of thousands dead and more than 2 million homeless in Darfur and that a more muscular military response is required, administration officials said.

    After private talks with world leaders, including U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Bush decided to call for an additional 7,000 or more troops to be placed under U.N. command, along with the 7,000 African Union troops already there, because such an expansion would be the quickest way to intervene in the bloody conflict, the officials said. But many details of the policy shift need to be worked out, including how many U.S. troops would be part of the beefed-up international peacekeeping effort. Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, a Pentagon spokesman, said it is "premature to speculate" on potential increases in U.S. troops...

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    Default NATO Considering Putting Troops in Darfur

    11 June Voice of America - NATO Considering Putting Troops with African Units in Darfur by Al Pessin.

    Officials at NATO headquarters, and in NATO capitals across Europe and North America, are considering a request from the African Union to put western trainers into African military units that are trying to establish security in Sudan's Darfur region.

    NATO Secretary General Jaap de hoop Scheffer said the request to expand NATO's involvement in Darfur arrived in time to be discussed Thursday during the NATO defense ministers meeting.

    "That is a positive reaction to what has been discussed in the North Atlantic Council, and we are now moving on with this." Scheffer says.

    The head of NATO's Strategic Direction Center, British Colonel David Short is to put together a detailed mission plan, if NATO leaders approve the African request.

    "To me, this latest letter from the African Union is beginning to open a new chapter, if you like, in terms of NATO's engagement," Short says.

    Colonel Short says the A.U. request asks NATO to continue its current support for the Union's mission in Darfur - flying troops in and out of the region, helping with training and providing a liaison officer at the mission headquarters. But he says it also includes new requests, including the one involving NATO trainers working in Darfur in the A.U. units that have been deployed.

    "Could you look at, further, these sort of 'on the job' capacity building activities? By this, we are talking, potentially, about assisting units on the ground," Short says. "But, I would hasten to say that is very much something which needs further discussion and reconnaissance."

    Colonel Short says the A.U. request also asks NATO to expand its training of senior African officers, and to help establish a system for certifying that military units from the various countries are fully qualified to participate in the organization's military activities.

    No NATO official can say whether or when the alliance might expand its Darfur mission, as requested. But Colonel Short says the groundwork has been laid for the political decision and the potential military deployments.

    "I would not be held to a specific length of time, but because NATO and the North Atlantic Council have been warmed up to these as potential options - because, clearly, we have always tried to forward plan and anticipate what might come in - we have prepared work that can be launched very quickly," Short says.

    Years of violence involving militia groups and attacks on civilians have killed hundreds of thousands of people. The U.S. government and others have labeled it genocide. A peace accord reached last month has contributed to an increase in violence, as all groups have not accepted it.

    The U.N. Security Council has agreed to take over the African Union military effort in Darfur, but Sudan's government has not accepted the plan. A local leader told VOA on Friday, after meeting with a UN delegation, that the people will not accept troops from outside of Africa. A U.N. force could include both African and non-African troops, including possibly some from NATO countries.

    But at NATO military headquarters, Colonel Short says there is no plan for the alliance to organize forces to go to Darfur in large numbers to confront the militias themselves.

    He says training teams that may work with the deployed African forces would be small, and the African Union Mission in Sudan, known as AMIS, would still be responsible for trying to restore order in the region.

    "The key principle for the AMIS mission is that the Africans are looking for African solutions for African problems. They must remain in the lead. And NATO, who are just one of the partners, are there in support," Short says.

    Colonel Short and other officials say NATO will have to ask member nations to provide troops and equipment for the additional Darfur missions. NATO has a new Reaction Force standing by to respond to emergencies, but officials say the training and other services being requested by the African Union are not the type of mission the Force was created to handle.

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    Default Sudan - catch all thread

    Brokering Peace in Sudan by Major Patrick Christian, US Army. Special Warfare Magazine, March-April 2006.

    In August 2004, the author found himself in just such a role when he deployed to the Darfur region of Sudan as part of a small joint-special operations advisory team dispatched there by the commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Horn of Africa. The team, deployed from Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, consisted of a Navy SEAL lieutenant commander, a Marine recon major, and the author, then an Army Special Forces major. The team was tasked to work as advisers to the African Union’s 12 military-observer teams, or MILOBS, which were attempting to document cease-fire violations among the multiple parties in Sudan’s civil war. The mission was simple: to keep the MILOBS collecting information on the conflict, as well as to stay positioned between the warring parties as advisers without getting killed in the process. The mission originated when the United States partnered with the European Union, or EU, in an effort to avoid a full-scale civil war in Sudan. The coalition focus is on funding and supporting the newly formed African Union, or AU, in a role designed to mediate between the Government of Sudan, or GoS (which is primarily in the control of the Northern Arab Sudanese), and the armed rebel groups in the Darfur region. The government-supported militias were created when the GoS armed a large number of Arab nomadic civilians, known as the Janjaweed. The Janjaweed have since begun attempting to clear the African Muslim tribes out of Darfur in a form of political/cultural cleansing...

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    Default

    I think one day, a new generation will review the death "scorecard" for Rwanda, DPR Congo, and the Sudan, and ask - "where was the global outrage and response?"

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    Default Diplomacy and Sudan

    So, the President will speak to Minni Minnawi, the head of the SLA from Darfur, but will not speak with Bashar Assad, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or Kim Jong-il, all heads of state, for fear of sending the wrong message and rewarding bad behavior? I could be wrong, but I believe Minnawi has been indicted for war crimes by the ICC. What message does this send? Does this help the crisis in Darfur, Sudan?

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Sudan Watch

    Excellent site for current events in SUDAN.


    SUDAN WATCH
    http://www.sudanwatch.blogspot.com/

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    Default Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by sgmgrumpy View Post
    Excellent site for current events in SUDAN.


    SUDAN WATCH
    http://www.sudanwatch.blogspot.com/
    SGM,

    Nice link - I'm always on the lookout for additional resources on Africa. This site has links to other Sudan bloggers as well as to Congo Watch, Niger Watch, Ethiopia Watch and Uganda Watch. Thanks again.

    Dave

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default HSBA Small Arms SUDAN

    Interesting Survey. The website has alot of information as well.

    Human Security Baseline Assessment Small Arms Survey, Geneva Sep 2006
    http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files...0sept%2006.pdf

    Disarmament and gun control, coupled with security sector reform (SSR) and police training, are viewed by Lakes State residents as high priorities. Almost three quarters of respondents claimed that reducing the number of firearms and related arms would make people safer. In fact, more than one-fifth of respondents contended that firearms were South Sudan’s most pressing concern—outranking even access to education (20 per cent), poor health facilities (7 per cent), and unemployment (4 per cent) as the region’s most urgent priorities. Almost two-thirds of respondents reported that improvements to the security sector (police and military) were a high priority. More than half focused on the need for more effective police, while 20 per cent identified improving the army as a priority.
    Small Arms Survey Main Site
    http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/

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    Default A disconcerting blurb in the blog

    It seems there was an attack at a large refugee camp near the middle of last month, and it caused an exodus of aid workers at a critical time, with only Red Cross left to deal with the 130,000 souls dwelling there.

    I found more on aidworkers.net: http://www.aidworkers.net/?q=node/671

    Aid groups pull out of Darfur refugee camp after rape

    According to an article in the Independent, UK on 22 January 2007 by Alex Duval Smith in Paris:

    Aid groups have suspended operations in Darfur and may pull out of the Sudanese province after a French relief worker was raped, another sexually assaulted and an Oxfam employee was severely beaten at the world's largest refugee camp.

    The attack took place on 18 December at Gereida refugee camp, South Darfur, and marks the first time a Western aid worker has been the target of rape - a weapon of war in Darfur, where 3.5 million people depend on aid. "We have suspended our operations and we may not go back," said Thomas Gonnet, the director of operations for Action Contre La Faim (ACF), whose colleague was raped and another was molested.


    Is there anyone on the SWC who has primary source knowledge of the current conditions in the Sudan?

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Jcustis,

    He might be your best bet. Although he only has a few more months left in country.


    I am a South African soldier. My work as an infantry captain at 6 SA Infantry Battalion (Air Assault)includes work as an AU/UN miltary observer. This is my world and I could not imagine doing anything else.
    DARFUR BLOG
    http://www.rsasoldier.blogspot.com/

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sgmgrumpy View Post
    Interesting Survey. The website has alot of information as well.

    Human Security Baseline Assessment Small Arms Survey, Geneva Sep 2006
    http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/files...0sept%2006.pdf



    Small Arms Survey Main Site
    http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/
    Every time I see something like this, I cringe. Blaming inanimate objects for complex problems seems to be a "universal solution" for the international activist type.

    The "small arm" becomes the totem of both the soldier, and the peacenik, and the peacenik's solution is to simply remove the "small arm". Of course, when combined with military defeat, the symbolism might be effective (We beat you, so we get to remove/you have to give up your totem).

    But short of military defeat, removing small arms is a) not practical and b) setting the stage for a "peace without justice" where the large and powerful no longer have to respect the small but well-armed.

    It's also possible that c) setting the stage for a future conflict based on the forced disarmament.

    Rearming is not a very difficult thing to do, or faking disarmament in the first place is a possibility.

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    From the UK Defence Academy's Conflict Studies Research Centre, 2 Apr 07:

    Darfur: A Cultural Handbook
    ...The aim of this piece is to explore the broad issues which are part of and associated with the culture of Darfur. Although much has been written on the north and south of Sudan, there is still very little currently available regarding the culture in the west, due mainly to its remoteness, and that it continues to be ‘out of bounds’, with access by Westerners strictly restricted by the Sudanese Government.

    Sudan and, specifically, Darfur are difficult and expensive to get into and difficult to travel through and across. But Sudan is very strategically placed and has played an important part in the history of civilisation through the millennia. Through its location it has the ability to contribute considerably to wider regional stability and the prosperity of a key part of Africa in the future....

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Lovely Darfur

    Just some scenes from Darfur and Kordofan: 1st on approach into El fasher in 84 during US drought relief effort
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default More Scenery

    Later 1993 flood relief effort in 1993, again not far from El fasher
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    Default Darfur Welcome Sign

    And for the global tourist set:
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Military Review, May-June 2007:

    Cows, Korans, and Kalashnikovs: The Multiple Dimensions of Conflict in the Nuba Mountains of Central Sudan
    This article provides an overview of the 2002 cease-fire monitoring mission in the Nuba Mountains of central Sudan. Singular, bounded, and often inchoate causes – “It is a religious conflict”; “It is a competition for diminishing resources”- are often given as explanations for the conflict there and in Darfur. These explanations are not wrong in themselves, but they are inaccurate and misleading, if one examines them in isolation. The discord in the Nuba Mountains, for example, predates the actual fighting that began in the 1980s and has roots more complex than ethnic or racial difference between the Arab (primarily Islamic) North and African (mainly Christian) South. The current conflict is the most recent product of historical enmities and clashes that coalesce along socioeconomic lines….

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    An interesting article in CSMonitor: In Darfur, some Arabs now fight alongside rebels. Just as the Darfur rebel movements have fragmented, so too have the janjaweed militias. This is turning into a near-replica of the southern Sudanese disaster, which saw similar fragmentation.

    There was once only one reason for Tusher Mohamed Mahdi, a member of one of Darfur's many Arab tribes, to venture into the mountainous rebel enclave of Jebel Mara: to kill as many non-Arab guerrilla fighters and their supporters as possible.

    Now he comes here to take orders.

    Mr. Mahdi used to lead a band of 150 Arab fighters, part of the brutal janjaweed militia that fights as the Sudanese government's proxy army in the country's troubled Darfur region, which has seen more than 200,000 people killed and more than 2.5 million displaced since fighting erupted in 2003.

    But like a growing number of Arab militia leaders now disenchanted with the Sudanese government, he has thrown in his lot with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rebel force, as Darfur's four-year conflict enters a new chapter.

    "In the beginning we were proud to fight because the government was telling us that all this land would belong to us," he says over a glass of sweet, black tea in the small hillside town of Gorolang Baje.

    "But later we discovered that would not be true."

    Rebel leaders claim that dozens of janjaweed commanders are joining their struggle against the Sudanese government after promises of land, cattle, and money proved worthless.

    In Jebel Mara they say 4,000 Arabs have bolstered their forces in the past year ...

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