The UN is gearing up to
authorize up to 26,000 troops and police for Sudan's Darfur region on Tuesday in an effort to quell violence in the vast arid region.
Britain and France, sponsors of the resolution, formally introduced their draft resolution late on Monday to the 15 council members, stripping the text of harsh language. A vote was expected Tuesday afternoon on a combined or "hybrid" United Nations-African Union force. [SNIP]
Parts of the resolution are under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes it mandatory. This includes taking "necessary action," a euphemism for the use of force, in self-defence of UN-AU personnel, to ensure freedom of movement of humanitarian workers as well as to protect civilians "under threat of violence without prejudice to the government's responsibilities." [SNIP]
The resolution calls on member states to finalize their contributions to the new force, called UNAMID or the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, within 90 days. UNAMID would incorporate the under-equipped and under-financed 7,000 Africa Union troops now in Darfur.
Sudan, after months of hesitation, has agreed to the troop numbers but U.N. officials expect it will take a year to get the force in place. Khartoum also has to agree to allow units from individual countries into Sudan.(Emphasis mine.)
Infantry soldiers will be drawn mainly from African nations unless not enough Africans can be recruited. Personnel from elsewhere in the world are expected to be used for specialized engineering and in command headquarters. The United States is restricting its contribution to transporting troops to Darfur and helping to pay for the operation.
But of course.
The new text also eliminates a specific reference to the Janjaweed, a brutal pro-Khartoum militia, blamed for rape, murder and burning villages.Here’s the text of a US Senate floor speech from Wisconsin Democrat Senator Russ Feingold advocating for congressional support to fund the African Union action—and lambasting Britain and France for weakening the language of the proposed resolution. (Senator Feingold is the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs.)
The AU force in Darfur has repeatedly been deprived of adequate resources and equipment, and yet despite this inconsistent support their have remained committed to the job. Support from the United Nations has been in theory forthcoming, for quite some time. In principle, the roadblocks have been many and the unfortunate result of this hobbled mission transition has been more violence, more displacement, and more death throughout Darfur. [SNIP]
[W]hile a draft resolution being circulated indicates that the international community is actively moving forward to deploy this hybrid force, I am very disappointed that the resolution's cosponsors have succumbed to pressure from the Sudanese and deleted language which condemned the Government for violations of past UN resolutions and peace agreements and removed the threat of sanctions in the event of continued noncompliance[…] I feel strongly that the draft resolution being circulated in New York has been unacceptably weakened. [SNIP]
What appears to have been forgotten in November, and again in the current UN debate, is that in August of 2006 -- just about a year ago -- the Security Council passed Resolution 1706, which authorized up to 22,500 U.N. troops and police officers for a robust United Nations peacekeeping force with the power to use all necessary means to protect humanitarian aid workers and civilian populations, as well as to seize and dispose of illegal weapons. The new resolution currently being considered in New York does not reference Resolution 1706 or the Sudanese Government's defiant refusal to comply with its provisions. Nor does it draw the appropriate lessons from the failed attempt to deploy UN peacekeepers in Darfur almost a year ago.
Rather than include stronger monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that the Sudanese government and other parties to the conflict abide by existing agreements and cooperate with the new peacekeeping mission, the resolution's cosponsors appear to have backed down to Sudanese pressure. Their weakened resolution omits a condemnation of Sudan for failing to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those in need, deletes reference to evidence of violations of the UNSC-mandated arms embargo -- which many outside experts have noted has been repeatedly violated with little consequence -- drops a request that the Secretary General immediately report any breach of this or previous resolutions and agreements, and removes a threat that the UN would take "further measures" – in other words, sanctions – in the event of noncompliance. How, Mr. President, can we believe that individuals will be held accountable for their actions when we have seen such entrenched impunity? [SNIP]
Although the revised resolution omits the original reference to Chad and the Central African Republic, it does express “concern that the ongoing violence in Darfur might further negatively affect the rest of Sudan as well as the region." The short- and long-term impacts of the crisis in Darfur are real, far-reaching, and very troubling. The humanitarian consequences will require massive logical coordination and rehabilitation assistance. Economically, the rebuilding of infrastructure and livelihoods will demand additional resources and technical support. And this will be required not just for Darfur but for the whole of Sudan, as well as the broader region.Does Chapter 7 provison and the failure of the UN to robustly back its earlier Dafur resolution remind anyone of that body’s (in)action with respect to another set of resolutions condemning the actions of another rogue regime?
Additional Dafur background commentary:
President Bush, May 29, 2007, on divesting from Sudan, economic sanctions on the country and the push for the UN resolution discussed above.
On the same day, Al-Jazeera reported that China will continue to support Sudan.
After discussing Dafur (and Iraq) face to face with President Bush at Camp David, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown heads to NYC to entreat the UN to act. Shades of September 12, 2002. Anyone remember what happened on that day?
Does the post have cynical quality to it? It should--and not merely because of the UN's fecklessness regarding Iraq.
(Thanks to Gateway Pundit)