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Thread: Sudan Watch (to July 2012)

  1. #21
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default U.N. Presses for Peace in Darfur

    27 May LA Times - U.N. Presses for Peace in Darfur by Maggie Farley.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has put his personal diplomatic clout on the line to end the bloodshed in Darfur, demanding a cease-fire and fresh peace talks in a letter to Sudan's president, U.S. and Sudanese diplomats said Saturday.

    Ban has asked the Security Council to hold off on sanctions to give President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir time to respond to an all-out diplomatic drive outlined for the first time in the confidential letter, which was delivered Friday.

    The letter is also meant to signal a last chance for Bashir to stop attacks by Arab militias widely believed to be supported by the government. If Sudan continues to stall or backtrack on agreements, diplomats here say, even its strongest allies in the Security Council will have little excuse to block strong sanctions...

  2. #22
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Satellites to Watch for Darfur Violence

    Satellites to Watch for Darfur Violence

    The new Amnesty International Web site, http://www.eyesondarfur.org , was launched Wednesday in conjunction with a conference at the University of California, Berkeley.

    "We're hoping that by shining a light that we will deter the abuse from ever happening," said Ariela Blatter, director of the Crisis Prevention and Response Center for Amnesty International USA.

    Satellite images have been used before to document destruction in Darfur and elsewhere. But the latest project offers clearer, more up-to-date images, allowing experts to better track developments, Blatter said.

  3. #23
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default U.S. relies on Sudan despite condemning it

    U.S. relies on Sudan despite condemning it. Greg Miller and Josh Meyer, LATIMES. 11 June.
    Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq, an example of how the U.S. has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its suspected role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur.

    President Bush has denounced the killings in Sudan's western region as genocide and has imposed sanctions on the government in Khartoum. But some critics say the administration has soft-pedaled the sanctions to preserve its extensive intelligence collaboration with Sudan.

    The relationship underscores the complex realities of the post-Sept. 11 world, in which the United States has relied heavily on intelligence and military cooperation from countries, including Sudan and Uzbekistan, that are considered pariah states for their records on human rights.

    "Intelligence cooperation takes place for a whole lot of reasons," said a U.S. intelligence official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing intelligence assessments. "It's not always between people who love each other deeply."

    Sudan has become increasingly valuable to the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks because the Sunni Arab nation is a crossroads for Islamic militants making their way to Iraq and Pakistan.

    That steady flow of foreign fighters has provided cover for Sudan's Mukhabarat intelligence service to insert spies into Iraq, officials said ...

  4. #24
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    Default Sudan OKs Peacekeepers for Darfur

    12 June LA Times - Sudan OKs Peacekeepers for Darfur by Maggie Farley.

    Sudan on Tuesday accepted a combined United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force of up to 23,000 troops and police to stabilize to the war-torn Darfur region.

    But U.N. diplomats, cautious after months of waffling by the regime, were not ready to celebrate a breakthrough.

    The agreement came before a Security Council mission to Khartoum on Saturday to press for an end to the government-stoked conflict in Darfur. At the end of a two-day summit of Sudanese, U.N. and African Union officials in Ethiopia, Sudan also agreed Tuesday on the need for an immediate cease-fire and peace talks with rebel groups to end four years of fighting.

    Sudan had initially agreed to the joint force in November, but it has backtracked and added conditions in the months since...

  5. #25
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default

    Officials from the U.N., AU and Sudan met in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, to jump-start a three-stage plan for a joint force to back up 7,000 overwhelmed and underpaid African Union troops already in Darfur.
    How about NOT being paid.

    Well hopefully the UN will not screw up the payment of the soldiers as the AU did almost often as noted in this SA blg on his year tour of duty in al-fashier under a AU hat.

    I recall numerous problems with NIBATTS and ECOMOG forces in other peacekeeping duties under the blue hat, not getting paid on time and soldiers/units going as far as refusing to get onto helo transports until they were paid. Pretty bad when your trying to insert PKs into area because the place is about to get real bad in a hurry and all they need to do is pay them.

    I would think they had it right by now since the 90s, but after reading some of the blogs, it's obvious some things never change.


    I hope the UN don't screw this one up.


    If you want the truth, anything more than Boots on the Ground is BS.

    http://rsasoldier.blogspot.com/searc...max-results=20

    http://www.rsasoldier.blogspot.com/


    On another note: 32 AMIS Camps where built by PAE. Here is a report to GAO on Darfur. Good resource for background information. Another interesting note is that of the 16 authorized US Military Observers, only 11 were filled at the time of report.? Probably figure out why.

    GAO Report on Darfur Nov 2006
    http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d079.pdf
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 06-13-2007 at 07:53 PM. Reason: Additional Info

  6. #26
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    Default In Sudan, Help Comes From Above

    6 July NY Times commentary - In Sudan, Help Comes From Above by Julie Flint.

    The one bright light in the dismal international response to the slaughter and starvation in Sudan’s Darfur region has been a humanitarian effort that has kept more than two million displaced people alive. In the fifth year of the war, mortality levels among Darfurians reached by relief are marginally better than they were before the war and lower than in the capital, Khartoum. In South Sudan, where conflict is stilled, children have higher death rates and lower school enrollment.

    This is a formidable achievement, better than in any comparable war zone in Africa. Credit the likes of Oxfam, Mercy Corps and Doctors Without Borders, and their 13,000-strong army of relief workers — 90 percent of them Sudanese.

    Yet these successes will be lost if Democratic presidential candidates get their wish: a no-flight zone that is militarily enforced over Darfur. The idea, supported by Senator Hillary Clinton and others, is that this would pressure the Sudan government into allowing the immediate deployment of a joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force. “If they fly into it, we will shoot down their planes,” Mrs. Clinton said last week at a Democratic presidential debate. “It is the only way to get their attention.”

    Aid agencies are quietly appalled by the prospect of a no-flight zone. They believe Khartoum would respond by grounding humanitarian aircraft and, at worst, by forcing aid agencies to leave. Even if Khartoum didn’t ground flights, the United Nations most likely would, for fear of sending its planes into a potential combat zone. Without humanitarian air access, Darfurians would soon suffer lethal health and food crises...

  7. #27
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Janjaweed and Erstwhile Enemies

    Why you have to love, Sudan

    From a safe distance....
    Darfur conflict takes unexpected turn
    NERTITI, Sudan — As far as Osman Ahmed could tell, the clashes that forced his family out of their home and into a dismal refugee camp last month were no different from the attacks that have devastated Darfur for four years and counting.

    "The village was totally burned and looted. It was the janjaweed," said Ahmed, a tired-looking man in a long white gown, invoking the name of the government-sponsored Arab militias responsible for most of the recent carnage in western Sudan.

    But Ahmed, who fled immediately with his family to safety in Nertiti, about seven miles away, wasn't around to see what happened the following day. Darfur rebels retaliated by striking a nearby government security station, and their allies in the attack were also Arab janjaweed.

  8. #28
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default AU Peacekeepers

    a related article on the AU peacekeepers in Darfur:
    Unpaid, underequipped African peacekeepers struggle in Darfur
    EL FASHER, Sudan — The white pickup emblazoned with the initials “AMIS” — for African Union Mission in Sudan — slowed down near the entrance to a refugee camp in northern Darfur. A young boy in grubby clothes appeared at the side of the road.

    Sitting at the wheel, David Eklu, a Ghanaian peacekeeper, lifted an arm to wave at the boy. The boy raised his right arm — and hurled a handful of rocks at Eklu’s car.

    Eklu sighed and drove on. “That has happened before,” he said.

    To the war-weary people of Darfur, nothing seems to symbolize the international community’s inability to end the four-year-old conflict more than the 7,000 A.U. peacekeepers stationed here.

    Tasked with monitoring a cease-fire that the Sudanese government and rebel groups have never taken seriously, the peacekeepers find themselves the targets of growing hostility from civilians — and, more worryingly, the armed factions.

    In April, unidentified gunmen killed seven peacekeepers in three attacks over two weeks. In the most brazen assault, a Ghanaian peacekeeper was murdered in a carjacking just a few hundred yards from the mission’s Darfur headquarters in El Fasher, within sight of fellow peacekeepers. The guards, from the Gambia, allowed the assailants to get away, and no pursuit was ordered.

  9. #29
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Tom,
    Starting to sound like the (slaughtered) Belgian Peace Keepers in Rwanda and the French in Goma...All over again

    I somewhat agree that the African Peace Keepers have an edge, but as far as being more capable, that's been seen one too many times before. I can just barely imagine the Zairian troops holding back the former Rwandan Army in Goma amidst the --ahem-- chaos

    Seems we haven't learned too much from more than a decade ago. It's that, or few have taken the time to read the countless reports!

    Regards,

    Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Tom,
    Starting to sound like the (slaughtered) Belgian Peace Keepers in Rwanda and the French in Goma...All over again

    I somewhat agree that the African Peace Keepers have an edge, but as far as being more capable, that's been seen one too many times before. I can just barely imagine the Zairian troops holding back the former Rwandan Army in Goma amidst the --ahem-- chaos

    Seems we haven't learned too much from more than a decade ago. It's that, or few have taken the time to read the countless reports!

    Regards,

    Stan



    I personally believe that the inaction by the world's powers have to do with not wanting to risk any negative affect on the global economy.


    China has provided a substantial boom to the global economy and any slowdown due to higher price of oil as a result of a decrease in the oil market due to any sanctionson Sudan might create a panic in the markets. Just look at the reaction to periods of heightened tension between the US and Iran ... oil prices started soaring.



    I think that the world leaders are pretty much trying to ignore it ... if it wasn't for those pesky human rights activists. Hell, the French oil firm Total signed a deal with Sudan exploration rights about a month ago.


    To further complicate matters, Sudan has been home to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafi Islamic groups (same ideology as Al-Qeada) that have influenced the government and the populace for decades. Given that Sudan has been quietly co-operative with the US in hunting down radical Islamic militants, the US could either expand the GWOT to Sudan and Sudan is like another Pakistan.



    I'm wondering what will happen when the 26,000 peacekeepers arrive in Darfur. Will the rebel groups in Darfur see it as an occupation ... will Jihadist groups plant IED's etc. to draw the West further into conflicts?

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    ICG, 26 Jul 07: A Strategy for a Comprehensive Peace in Sudan
    ....Peace in Sudan is being frustrated on all fronts by the NCP regime, which views the transformation of the country as a threat to its survival. Obstacles to CPA implementation continue to grow, and a collapse of the agreement is a real possibility. International efforts have become so concentrated on Darfur, albeit without much success, that CPA implementation – the bedrock for peaceful transformation in the country – is being ignored, in effect a reversal of the situation in 2003-2004, when the focus on ending the North-South war led to diplomatic reluctance to address the unfolding catastrophe in Darfur. The international community is unwilling to hold the parties responsible for violations, or even to speak out about them, lest it imperil already problematic NCP cooperation on Darfur. The situation is complex, the threat of additional conflicts elsewhere in the country very real, but the core of lasting peace is already entrenched in the CPA and the interim national constitution – it does not need to be renegotiated or facilitated, merely enforced and implemented, with emphasis on the core national reforms and the democratisation process.

    The CPA’s collapse would mean return to large-scale war in much of Sudan. Since the Khartoum-SPLA war ended in 2005, both sides have been rearming and preparing for possible resumption of hostilities. Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea were all destabilised to various degrees by the earlier war, just as Darfur is producing deadly spill-over effects in Chad and the Central African Republic. Unlike the last war, however, this one would probably not be limited to the South, Abyei, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. It could easily connect with the conflict in Darfur and spread to other disaffected areas of the North, leading to Sudan’s first truly national civil war. The impact on at least all nine neighbouring countries would be devastating. The threat is very real and requires an urgent international response....

  12. #32
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    Default Peacekeepers to Darfur?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2174209.ece

    Looks like most of the developed world won't be putting boots on the ground though.

  13. #33
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default China?

    I'm on one of the Darfur support lists and this just came ver it.

    NBA Dream Team Rallies for Darfur
    For immediate release - May 10, 2007
    Contact: Jill Savitt, Dream for Darfur, (917)-941-3530, Jill.Savitt@dreamfordarfur.org
    Steve Kauffman, for Ira Newble, (310) 456-5400, Ksmg4@aol.com

    NBA “Dream Team of Conscience” Urges China to Protect the People of Darfur
    Cleveland Cavalier Ira Newble Rallies Players to Stop the Genocide

    Cleveland – May 10 – Cleveland Cavalier small forward Ira Newble announced today that 11 of his teammates have joined him in co-signing an open letter to the government of the People’s Republic of China, urging the Chinese government to take immediate action on the crisis in Darfur, in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. Read the full text of the letter and signatures.


    “I have been distraught about the crisis in Darfur, and especially with recent news that shows the situation has not improved – and more innocent people are continuing to die,” said Newble. “China is playing a major role in the crisis. The 2008 Beijing Olympics gives professional athletes the chance to speak out about the ideas of peace and brotherhood that the Olympics represent. I urge all athletes to ask China to do what it can to protect civilians in Darfur.” For information on China’s role in the Darfur crisis, see below.

    More...
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  14. #34
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Unamid

    26,000 personnel--7,000 AU, 6400 UN civilians, 12500 other military, supposedly to come mainly from Africa with US airlift and money, British financial aid and logistics. All of this is supposedly to be finalized in 90 days.

    I will be quite surprised if they do it in 90 days. I am equally doubtful they will be able to draw another 12,000 troops from Africa. MONUC in the Congo has been and still is a struggle with 16,700 troops, 700 milobs, 1000 police, and 1800 expatriate civilian workers (permanent or UN volunteer).

    Plus one can make the argument that the Congo is relatively developed when it comes to infrastructure avaliable when compared to Darfur and Kordofan.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 07-31-2007 at 06:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    26,000 personnel--7,000 AU, 6400 UN civilians, 12500 other military, supposedly to come mainly from Africa with US airlift and money, British financial aid and logistics. All of this is supposedly to be finalized in 90 days.

    I will be quite surprised if they do it in 90 days. I am equally doubtful they will be able to draw another 12,000 troops from Africa.
    Tom
    Yeah, I know next to nothing about African militaries, but I was wondering about that.

  16. #36
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Analysis: Africa's Darfur bombshell

    13 August - By Martin Plaut, BBC Africa analyst

    "And so far these UN troops have caused no difficulties for the Sudanese government."

    Really ? Now this begs the question...who's nominally in charge whilst the rest beg, borrow and steal

    The chairman of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, dropped something of a bombshell after holding talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

    Speaking to the media, he insisted that the 26,000-strong hybrid United Nations-African Union force would be drawn entirely from Africa, and that it would be under African command.

    The initial response to the statement was one of surprise.

    The Americans, among others, had argued that Africa does not have enough trained soldiers to make up a credible and effective force.

    The Sudanese are fearful that some of their number might be arrested by UN forces, under a sealed warrant issued by the International Criminal Court, for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.

    African troops, led by an African commander, might be prevailed on not to carry out this exercise.

    But in some ways the whole rumpus is a little puzzling.

    The UN already has 10,108 total uniformed personnel, including 8,824 troops, 591 military observers, and 693 police patrolling South Sudan, as part of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement reached between the authorities in Khartoum and rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement in January 2005.
    More at the link

  17. #37
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default In Nubia, fears of another Darfur

    In Nubia, fears of another Darfur - LATIMES, 31 Aug.
    The tranquil Nubian villages along this Nile River stretch are best known for the brightly painted gates that adorn many of the simple mud-brick homes. With geometric shapes and hieroglyphic-like pictures, the oversized gates hark back to the stone-carved doorways the villagers' ancestors once built on pyramids that rivaled Egypt's.

    These days, however, the elaborate entryways are shadowed by black flags. Government soldiers patrol once-quiet dirt streets, occasionally drawing stones from angry youths. Protest graffiti mar the walls, including one scrawling of an AK-47 with the simple caption: "Darfur 2."

    First, southern Sudan erupted in a 20-year civil war, followed by the east and, most recently, the western region of Darfur. Now many fear that Sudan's northern territory of Nubia will be the next to explode over the fight for resources and all-too-familiar accusations of "ethnic cleansing" and complaints of marginalization by an Arab-dominated government ...

  18. #38
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    Default Sudan & the Nubian..

    I deployed on a DOD contract with four others to Nuba Mountains, Sudan, located in the southern half of the largest country in Africa-Sudan. The story in the LA Times about the Nubian people might require alittle more definition. Date of deployment: early March of 2002.

    Mission: Observer/Advisor to interim cease fire agreement between SPLA-Sudan People's Liberation Army and GOS-Government of Sudan

    In the early years of tribes in north Africa, the Nubian people were mostly black Africans tribes, in lieu of the Arab tribes more common to the tribes currently making up the Middle East. As Islam and Arab tribes migrated westward, the Nubian people or factions of the tribes moved south. Although, many remained, as today, the Nubian people were constantly degraded to near slavery under Islam; many retained their "Christain" legacy reinforced by the occupation forces during World War I.

    Others moved south and many took up residency in the five (5) mountains (maximum height at 3,000 ft) in what is called Nuba Mountains in the southern half of Sudan. There about 2 million people resided until the conflict between what was then the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Government of Sudan which began after Bashir came to power. The war started in 1983 and until its conclusion in 2004, it was the longest continuous war in Africa with over 2 million dead and countless hundreds of thousands as IDP's and refugees along the Sudan-Congo, Republic of, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Chad and in the region called Darfur.

    The Nuba Mountains were essentially surrounded by the Government of Sudan soldiers and encampments; the last major attack in Nuba was in May of 2001 near the dirt landing strip near Kauda.

    Only two of the four deployed into the mountains; BLH to sector 5/mountains with a small contingent of SPLA and myself, to the command HQ of the SPLA in Sector 1. Co-located with the SPLA leadership, I acted as an observer and advisor: tasking included moderating issues which would break the cease fire agreement; compliment any NGO activities and moreover, reinforce the end state objective of a sustained cease fire moving into a final peace agreement. Often myself and several others would walk to the SPLA "garrisons" which were located a narrow passage ways into the mountains; the SPLA fighters were located with their families knowing full well, if they could not succeed in controlling key terrain, they and their families would be slaughtered by the GOS soldiers.

    The SPLA with its leader John Garang (Infantry Officer's Basic Course-FT. Benning) who led the uprising against the GOS interdicted the oil transport lines from southern Sudan to the coast, thereby inflicting heavy economic damage on the government.

    As you know, China receives nearly 10% of their oil from Sudan and all parties, including US wanted this peace agreement to materialize. In fact, the Sudan Peace Act under President Bush promised the Bashir government 300 million in economic aid if a peace agreement between the factions was finalized. In view of today's issues in Sudan, I suspect that funding has been withheld-I might add, a great amount was destined for the south, but according to current reports, none has materialized.

    The Point: If there are any doubts about the Government of Sudan and its efforts to cleanse Sudan of their non Islamic population, I can testify as a witness to genocide in Nuba Mountains, Sudan. The people were on the absolute verge of starvation. I most often tried to eat (initially MRE's) solo, as I could see the look on their collective faces when I broke opon a pack.

    All the talk in the world will not stop Bashir and his government from cleansing all who are not Islamic, speak Arabic and abide by sharia law.

    Never negotiate except from a position of strength..so goes the phrase..and up currently Sudan remains in a position of strength with oil reserves to exceed perhaps those of Saudi Arabia; billions of petro dollars are flowing into Khartom and the Arab world supports Sudan push to extinguish those who are not of the Islamic faith.

    And, lastly, when I returned, one of the Sudan DOD desk officers asked: " Tell me about the SPLA fighers..what kind of soldiers are they?"

    My response was terse with this short example. I replied.." Almost any SPLA soldier licking an ice cream with his left hand could gut you from the neck to your bellybutton and not miss a lick..."

    Enough said!

    Randy

  19. #39
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Chaos in Darfur on the Rise as Arabs fight with Arabs - NYTIMES, 3 Sep.

    Some of the same Arab tribes accused of massacring civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan are now unleashing their considerable firepower against one another in a battle over the spoils of war that is killing hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands.

    In the past several months, the Terjem and the Mahria, heavily armed Arab tribes that United Nations officials said raped and pillaged together as part of the region’s notorious janjaweed militias, have squared off in South Darfur, fighting from pickup trucks and the backs of camels. They are raiding each other’s villages, according to aid workers and the fighters themselves, and scattering Arab tribesmen into the same kinds of displacement camps that still house some of their earlier victims.

    United Nations officials said that thousands of gunmen from each side, including some from hundreds of miles away, were pouring into a strategic river valley called Bulbul, while clashes between two other Arab tribes, the Habanniya and the Salamat, were intensifying farther south ...
    The images with the article gives a good idea of just how far the "ethnic" definition of "Arab" can stretch in Sudan:




  20. #40
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hey Tequila !
    Nice post and pics

    Setting road blocks and gaunlets is not a good sign for Africans of any tribe. It boils down to a lack of everything, and borders on total chaos. These so-called movements actually have little politically 'to do' with motivating the troops (although it often sounds great in the press).

    Once the chow's run out and there's nobody left to steal from or rape, the UN troops will really have their hands full (because they'll be next on the food chain).

    Regards, Stan

    Some aid workers say Darfur is beginning to resemble Somalia, the world’s longest-running showcase for AK-47-fed chaos. Highwaymen in green camouflage — rebel fighters? local militia? janjaweed? — routinely flag down trucks and drag out passengers, robbing the men and sexually assaulting the women. Newly empowered warlords are exacting taxes. The galaxy of rebel armies — the Greater Sudan Liberation Movement, the Popular Forces Troops, the Sudan Democratic Group, to name a few new arrivals — keeps expanding, and ideology seems to fade away. Despite peace talks among them in early August, the rebels, mostly non-Arabs, are now also battling themselves.
    Last edited by Stan; 09-03-2007 at 01:00 PM.

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