Friday, October 12, 2012

The Avalanche of Violence Continues to Accelerate in Darfur

Eric Reeves,

The disappearance of Darfur from the international agenda now seems complete, perversely at the very moment when the region may be facing its most dangerous season of violence.  As I argued two months ago, what we are seeing is a sharp rise in the levels of all forms of violence, imperiling many hundreds of thousands of civilians. Such increasing violence makes a mockery of claims by the UN and African Union that their joint mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has achieved sufficient improvements in human security on the ground to permit a substantial draw-down of military and police personnel.  The all too conspicuous truth is that UNAMID is being quietly phased out because it is massively expensive and yet has failed miserably.  Indeed, the grim reality is that UNAMID cannot even provide security for its own forces, as was again demonstrated in the tragic deaths of four Nigerian members during a patrol last week—in an attack that occurred only two kilometers from a regional military base of operations in el-Geneina (West Darfur) and quite near check-points controlled by regime-allied forces.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement about these deaths, and used the occasion to express concern about increasing violence in Darfur, thus directly contradicting the claims expressed by officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operation, senior UN humanitarian officials, and the AU.  This statement echoes an excessively restrained, not to say inaccurate assessment of several weeks ago by the chief U.S. diplomat with responsibilities for Darfur, Dane Smith: Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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