While the scheduled departure of UNAMID now seems linked to the situation in Khartoum, there is fear of a stalemate of violence that could affect Darfur. The issue of the balance sheet and the real utility of this operation organized for 12 years in western Sudan is more important since the latest successes of UN peacekeeping in Africa dates back a long time.
Mission created to restore peace in Darfur.
When UNAMID settled in Darfur in 2008, it was to stabilize this region located in western Sudan, where there has been a conflict since 2003 with ancient origins on one hand, opposing the Janjawid tribe of Arabs on the other. In just three years, the war in Darfur has caused international dismay by the number of victims and displaced people. In the region common with violent clashes, there is also a real humanitarian disaster that is the most worrying. The United Nations organization based on studies conducted by the World Health Organization will describe the situation by talking about 180,000 deaths, thousands of people suffering from malnutrition, nearly 2 million souls forced to abandonment of their land and about 1.8 million displaced.
These figures pointing to an alarming situation, are proofs for many American politicians that a real genocide is happening in DAFUR. The United Nations, which prefers to talk about ethnic cleansing, argues that the urgency of disarming the Janjaweed militias is authoritative. The latter, meanwhile, have the support of the government forces they supported during attacks by rebels from unarmed tribes hostile to the regime of Omar El Bashir, who also criticized economic domination by Arab elites. The African Union-United Nations hybrid operation is committed to Darfur with a mandate to restore the rule of law, protect civilians, and control the delivery of food aid. Its mission also aims to provide protection on the border with Chad, where thousands of refugees are fleeing the fight.
In 2012, with the crisis in full swing, UNAMID became the largest UN peacekeeping operation in the world with an annual budget of $ 2 billion, with troops of an area that is equivalent to the size of France. But following the improvement in the situation in Darfur, these figures have been revised downwards. It remains however, the second largest UN peacekeeping mission with a budget today estimated at $ 700 million and 20,000 men.
The African Union and Chad in particular have played an important role in resolving the crisis in Darfur, particularly with regard to peace negotiations and the protection of civilians. The first initiatives were taken by the Chadian government which was able to put around the table of the various actors of the conflict. On September 3, 2003 the talks led to the signing of the ABÉCHÉ I agreement, which paves the way for a cease-fire to make possible the delivery of humanitarian aid. In a desire to silence arms and end hostilities in this part of Sudan, the African Union will take over and in turn, will succeed in Ndjamena to obtain from belligerents a break in fighting agreement, to last 45 days but is renewable. The deal involves the disarmament of the rebels by power and the establishment of a ceasefire commission (CFC) overseen by the African Union. The Pan-African body that multiplies the initiatives despite the resistance of some rebel groups decided the placement in Darfur in October 2008 of a mission (AMIS). Its role is to monitor the implementation of the cease-fire, to allow the flow of humanitarian aid and subsequently a return of refugees and displaced persons. The initiative, although worthy, will be weakened on the ground by the lack of resources and above all the lack of commitment by international institutions and European nations who are struggling to fulfill their promises of financial support for the AU.
Faced with these shortcomings, the US-led Security Council, will vote for a resolution to organize a UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur to work in collaboration with the African Union force. A decision that does not share Khartoum’s opposition to the principle of interference and remains convinced that the war in Sudan is a problem that must be managed by Africans. The involvement of international observers in this case should be limited to purely humanitarian aspects. The African Union, despite the willingness of the various actors to make progress towards peace, has successfully negotiated ceasefire agreements and humanitarian arrangements to create a map conducive to a final resolution of the conflict.
A mission of peace without peace to maintain
The creation of UN-controlled UN-African Union Hybrid Force with a peacekeeping mission in Darfur is for many observers, a surprising decision when you realize that there was no peace to maintain in this region. As the situation has not yet led to the signing of a real peace agreement, some even fear that it will, on the contrary, contribute to opening the door to new crisis since it demonstrates the UN’s desire to the military path in a delicate situation in which the African Union has always favored the political path, in particular that of dialogue. Martin Luther Agwai the commander of this force will not hide his concerns about the effectiveness of this mission on the ground, arguing that the task will be difficult given the lack of a peace agreement between the parties in question.
Abolishment of this peacekeeping force imposed on Khartoum by the United Nations with the support of Washington has an unclear or even inexplicable role to the extent that the rebels engaged in the conflict had not yet manifested any desire for peace, engaged in a peace process or the desire to establish a political agenda. The rebels at the AU-initiated talks justifying their involvement in the war in Darfur only by wanting the Khartoum authorities to take their demands into account. Their speeches about them were not limited to their hatred of the power led by Omar El Bashir.
Another problem and not the least related to the UN resolution supported by Washington to impose a peace mission in Darfur, is the way it opened up a corridor to terrorism on the African continent including Al Qaeda. Far from bringing stability, it was an opportunity for increased violence in Darfur. Concerns based a few months since after the adoption of this measure, Osama Bin Laden spokesman for the extremist group Al Qaeda called for Jihad in this region of Sudan against the UN mission considered as an occupying force but also against the government Sudanese accused of laxity in the face of this invasion of its land.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
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