Thursday, September 21, 2006

Will they be rescued?

From The Economist print edition

Outsiders say that something must be done. Sudan says that it mustn't.

ON THE eve of the 61st United Nations General Assembly, 32 countries held events aimed at persuading their governments to recognise a responsibility to protect the civilians of Darfur, a threatened region in western Sudan. A rally in New York City's Central Park attracted upwards of 30,000 people who called for the speedy deployment of UN peacekeepers. The same day in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, a much smaller group of demonstrators, organised by the government, took the opposite tack. They marched to the UN's local headquarters to give warning that Security Council Resolution 1706, which had ordered 20,000-plus peacekeepers to Darfur, threatened the stability of their country.

At the UN itself, on September 19th, Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, agreed that the 7,000-strong contingent of African Union (AU) peacekeepers could stay, but insisted that he would not accept a UN force designed to place “Sudan under mandate, a sort of trusteeship”. The mandate of the AU force has been extended until the end of the year and the Security Council is now trying to find ways to make it less feeble. Read more >>>

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