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  • UN intervention in Sudan

    Europe Joins U.S. in Demand For Action on Crisis in Sudan

    By Paul Casciato
    Reuters
    Sunday, July 25, 2004

    LONDON, July 24 -- European allies joined the United States on Saturday in urging Sudan to end a conflict in its western Darfur region that Congress has labeled genocidal.

    Britain's top military commander, Gen. Mike Jackson, said his country could send 5,000 troops to intervene in Darfur. "If need be, we will be able to go to Sudan. I suspect we could put a brigade together very quickly indeed," he told the BBC.

    British officials have said they hold the Sudanese government responsible for ending the conflict, in which an estimated 30,000 people have been killed.

    Britain has also accused the United Nations of being slow to respond. Prime Minister Tony Blair said this week he had not ruled out military intervention. A spokesman for Blair's office said Saturday that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is scheduled to visit Sudan next month.

    More than 1 million African villagers have been forced from their homes by violence carried out by Arab militiamen called the Janjaweed, aid officials say. More than 2 million are in desperate need of aid, according to U.N. officials.

    About 180,000 Darfur refugees have swollen camps across the border in eastern Chad to escape the Arab militia, which aid groups accuse of raping, killing, looting, burning villages, poisoning water supplies and destroying crops.

    Television images from Chad show camps full of emaciated women and children living on meager rations and with little more than a few sticks for shelter after walking, sometimes for weeks, to camps short of basic supplies from water to medical equipment.

    The European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, told Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail in Brussels on Friday that the government must disarm the Janjaweed.

    Solana "urged the government to arrest the leaders of the Janjaweed, as a first significant step towards the dismantling of these militias, which are held accountable for most of the human rights violations," Solana's spokeswoman said in a statement issued Saturday.

    French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier will visit Darfur next week. He will also travel to Senegal, Chad and South Africa to show French support for African Union efforts to effect a cease-fire in the region.

    Sudanese officials have warned Britain and the United States not to interfere in the country's internal affairs, saying it would reject any offer of military help to address what the United Nations says is the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

    "The international concern over Darfur is actually a targeting of the Islamic state in Sudan," Sudanese President Omar Hassan Bashir said on Friday.

    The House and Senate passed measures Thursday declaring that the Janjaweed attacks in Darfur constituted genocide and urged President Bush to seek a U.N. protection force.


    So, do you think United Nations troops should be deployed to Sudan? Should we stay out?
    22
    Yes
    59.09%
    13
    Yes, but only if all factions on the ground agree to ceasefire/commit to permanent peacetalks
    13.64%
    3
    No
    18.18%
    4
    Unsure
    9.09%
    2
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

  • #2
    Of course they should. I said yes but with permission, its important to get it right. A non-US commanded force with clear mission guide lines that are instituted with a full understanding of past failures and successes in these types of missions. If done right, or as close as can be no doubt some stuff-ups will be made, there could be a favourable outcome on a broad level. That said i'm also unsure because i don't know any details of the proposed mission.
    Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, but only if they choose an actual side. I'm not too familiar with the situation (no oil there ), but I'm assuming that one group is commiting genocide (as per the other thread, genocide as a verb) against another. If there is to be a mission it should be to defeat the genocide commiters and protect the genocidees. There does not need to be a ceasefire etc. The objective would be to attain a ceasefire by victory.
      ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
      -the Firesign Theatre

      Comment


      • #4
        Time for some peace makers perhaps.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tiberius
          Yes, but only if they choose an actual side. I'm not too familiar with the situation (no oil there ), but I'm assuming that one group is commiting genocide (as per the other thread, genocide as a verb) against another. If there is to be a mission it should be to defeat the genocide commiters and protect the genocidees. There does not need to be a ceasefire etc. The objective would be to attain a ceasefire by victory.
          FFS, it doesnt work man you can't go into these missions choosing sides and dictating the politics, get in, disarm, provide aid, and set the course for open democratic elections. It's the only way it can be done, you can't bring peace by supporting a war!
          Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Temujin
            FFS, it doesnt work man you can't go into these missions choosing sides and dictating the politics, get in, disarm, provide aid, and set the course for open democratic elections. It's the only way it can be done, you can't bring peace by supporting a war!
            So, I guess you don't support Clinton's efforts to use NATO in order to bomb Serbians into submission to end the ethnic cleansing campaigns.

            Of course, it's an entirely different situation, I'll grant you that one, but given how brutal the militia has been in terrorizing the civilians living in Darfur area, one has to wonder how one can really maintain a neutral stance between two warring sides. In Kosvo conflict, it was not exactly a neutral stance, Serbia had to be bombed into submission, however, once on ground, NATO troops (after the war, of course) were able to enforce peace neutrally between Serbians and ethnic groups.

            I'm surprised that you don't know this lesson, for once, I do agree with Tiberius. Though I am opposed to taking action anyway as I was opposed to Clinton's action in Kosvo conflict.

            Dan
            Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

            "Aim small, miss small."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tiberius
              Yes, but only if they choose an actual side. I'm not too familiar with the situation (no oil there ), but I'm assuming that one group is commiting genocide (as per the other thread, genocide as a verb) against another. If there is to be a mission it should be to defeat the genocide commiters and protect the genocidees. There does not need to be a ceasefire etc. The objective would be to attain a ceasefire by victory.
              Oil is once again a motivation, or at least a benefit. The US, China, Netherlands, Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, and Malaysia all had oil interest in Sudan at one time or the other. Human rights abuses were ignored, allowing the Khartoum regime to use revenues to finance his religious civil war. Attention to the humanitarian plight forced many of the Western countries out. The US left in the 1980's. Canadian and Swedish companies were forced out a few years ago after reports outraged people in those countries. I believe China and Malaysia are the key players now.

              The US probably doesn't see Sudan as a major oil contributor. However, it could supplement production in New Guinea. While most of the oil fields are located in South Sudan, ending the civil war is critical to any western return. That is the only way to lift sanctions and other restrictions placed on companies by a more humanitarian-concerned population.

              Of course, maybe our Western leaders do have more compassion than we give them credit for.
              "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cheetah772
                So, I guess you don't support Clinton's efforts to use NATO in order to bomb Serbians into submission to end the ethnic cleansing campaigns.

                Of course, it's an entirely different situation, I'll grant you that one, but given how brutal the militia has been in terrorizing the civilians living in Darfur area, one has to wonder how one can really maintain a neutral stance between two warring sides. In Kosvo conflict, it was not exactly a neutral stance, Serbia had to be bombed into submission, however, once on ground, NATO troops (after the war, of course) were able to enforce peace neutrally between Serbians and ethnic groups.

                I'm surprised that you don't know this lesson, for once, I do agree with Tiberius. Though I am opposed to taking action anyway as I was opposed to Clinton's action in Kosvo conflict.

                Dan

                The situation is they havn't had elections for some years because of civil war, disarming both sides to hold fair elections may seem like a good solution to the waring parties at this point, the Cambodians seemed to think so a decade ago. No need to go in with guns blazing and asking questions later if you don't have to.
                Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deltapooh
                  Oil is once again a motivation, or at least a benefit. The US, China, Netherlands, Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, and Malaysia all had oil interest in Sudan at one time or the other. Human rights abuses were ignored, allowing the Khartoum regime to use revenues to finance his religious civil war. Attention to the humanitarian plight forced many of the Western countries out. The US left in the 1980's. Canadian and Swedish companies were forced out a few years ago after reports outraged people in those countries. I believe China and Malaysia are the key players now.
                  Not sure if the current situation can be called a religious problem, the west is muslim Africans more closely tied to Chad ethnically.

                  True, Khartoum has been ruled by 'rerligious' factions, but i think its more to do with power than adherence to Islam etc. The current President while he instituted Sharia law back to Sudan is a Lt Gen who came in from a military coup.

                  It seems his predecessor, Sadiq Al-Mahdi a British educated economist and Islamist, seemed to be moving in the direction of peace with the south and a more agreeable situation with Sharia laws but this coupled with a financial crisis in the late 80's, gave the current bozo's the legitimacy to stage a coup and to wind back ethnic relations a few hundred years.

                  I think they all use religion for their political gain but i think al-Mahdi is the most bona fide in his beleifs and usage of religion. Couldn't say what he believes now but seeing he is head of an opposition in in exile i doubt he likes Bin Ladens support of the Sudan Government in the past, but thats pure speculation.
                  Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Temujin
                    FFS, it doesnt work man you can't go into these missions choosing sides and dictating the politics, get in, disarm, provide aid, and set the course for open democratic elections. It's the only way it can be done, you can't bring peace by supporting a war!
                    What does FFS mean?

                    I don't think you can go into a situation trying to disarm BOTH sides. You will have to decide for them what terms are the best and that will always end in a compromise unacceptable to both ("okay we stopped them killing you, we just let them take 1/2 your land"). They will quickly both be fighting you as they prepare to go back to war with each other. I wouldn't vote my forces to a mission like that. You have to decide which side you are on and support that one. If both sides have too many drawbacks to support, don't go in. If both sides are equally angelic they wouldn't be fighting in the first place.
                    ...a man that can stand up for a principle and sit down on his own stool.
                    -the Firesign Theatre

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tiberius
                      What does FFS mean?

                      I don't think you can go into a situation trying to disarm BOTH sides. You will have to decide for them what terms are the best and that will always end in a compromise unacceptable to both ("okay we stopped them killing you, we just let them take 1/2 your land"). They will quickly both be fighting you as they prepare to go back to war with each other. I wouldn't vote my forces to a mission like that. You have to decide which side you are on and support that one. If both sides have too many drawbacks to support, don't go in. If both sides are equally angelic they wouldn't be fighting in the first place.

                      FFS = For f**k sake. Just a bit of frustration really, don't know if you use the expression over there.

                      If you looked at the success of missions in these situations, which i wouldnt class Bosnia as one BTW = by the way , disarming can become successful it allows all parties that think they are backed into a corner and have no other way out but to fight to put their weapons down and try to peacefully sort something out, with the hope of open elections. This gives the mission, and the subsequent government to arise, legitimacy.

                      If you go in there and shoot up one ethnic group while supporting another how legitimate is the government going to be that you leave behind? This is not a religious war its an ethnic conflict that comes down to local elites and insecure ethnic identities/groups forming a symbiotic political relationship to protect their rights. Thats the nutshell version, if you hold up one and put down another you are sowing the seeds for more violence. In most of these cases the conflict is between the post-colonial power groups (who were handed power when colonial forces vacated) and those who were margianalised from power.

                      Your sugestion is more of a problem than a solution.
                      Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The fighting needs to stop first. Then, if the UN is to go in they need to have the backbone and force size to stop any transgressions that occur. The last thing the situation needs is another Bosnia or Rwanda, where the peacekeepers know that massacres are happening but stand by ordered to do nothing. Then afterwords the UN talks about what a "tragedy" it was.

                        It's not fair to the innocents or the soldiers put in harm's way.
                        "Nations are never content to confine their rivalships and enmities to themselves. It is their usual policy to disseminate them as widely, as they can, regardless how far it may interfere with the tranquility or happiness of the nations which they are able to influence." -- Alexander Hamilton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Temujin
                          FFS = For f**k sake. Just a bit of frustration really, don't know if you use the expression over there.

                          If you looked at the success of missions in these situations, which i wouldnt class Bosnia as one BTW = by the way , disarming can become successful it allows all parties that think they are backed into a corner and have no other way out but to fight to put their weapons down and try to peacefully sort something out, with the hope of open elections. This gives the mission, and the subsequent government to arise, legitimacy.

                          If you go in there and shoot up one ethnic group while supporting another how legitimate is the government going to be that you leave behind? This is not a religious war its an ethnic conflict that comes down to local elites and insecure ethnic identities/groups forming a symbiotic political relationship to protect their rights. Thats the nutshell version, if you hold up one and put down another you are sowing the seeds for more violence. In most of these cases the conflict is between the post-colonial power groups (who were handed power when colonial forces vacated) and those who were margianalised from power.

                          Your sugestion is more of a problem than a solution.
                          I think the civil coflict is more complexed than simply political. Inter-tribal, ecological (at least in the south), and religious factors are remain strong components. Tribal and religious identity plays roles in violence, and thus must be taken taken seriously.

                          More importantly, the UN push is already being defined as anti-Islamic by elements in Sudan. Al-Jazerra ran an article on this yesterday. This only serves to amplify the risk religion incurs as a predominately Christian force considers intervention.

                          I'm not saying you are incorrect with your overall definition of the Civil War in Sudan. The conflict has indeed undergone a transformation of sorts from the 1950's. However, religion is still a very important factor, particularly for the United Nations.

                          On another note:

                          I believe intervention should occur only if factions agree to a ceasefire. Otherwise, the United Nations should apply very strict sanctions.

                          Other alternatives might be establishing safe havens. This is very risky, but could provide some relief while sanctions are given time to impact political opinions in favor of peace. Another option might be an air campaign. (Bad ideal I know, but it is an option.)
                          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Deltapooh
                            I think the civil coflict is more complexed than simply political. Inter-tribal, ecological (at least in the south), and religious factors are remain strong components. Tribal and religious identity plays roles in violence, and thus must be taken taken seriously.

                            More importantly, the UN push is already being defined as anti-Islamic by elements in Sudan. Al-Jazerra ran an article on this yesterday. This only serves to amplify the risk religion incurs as a predominately Christian force considers intervention.

                            I'm not saying you are incorrect with your overall definition of the Civil War in Sudan. The conflict has indeed undergone a transformation of sorts from the 1950's. However, religion is still a very important factor, particularly for the United Nations.
                            Yeah it is more complicated, the very fact that it is an ethnic/identity conflict automatically (in many cases) means religion is part of it as religion goes a long way to define identity. I probably underemphsised religion because of the forum i am comenting in, which has many that see some religions as a problem withought considering the wider problem.

                            On another note:

                            I believe intervention should occur only if factions agree to a ceasefire. Otherwise, the United Nations should apply very strict sanctions.

                            Other alternatives might be establishing safe havens. This is very risky, but could provide some relief while sanctions are given time to impact political opinions in favor of peace. Another option might be an air campaign. (Bad ideal I know, but it is an option.)
                            Hopefully it won't go this far but something needs to be done, safe havens seems like the lesser of the two evils, in the long term if the strategy doesn't work theres gonna be a lot of refugees added to the list that will need to be resettled. All this could be irrelavent anyway as the government seems to be open to dialogue with various organisations, they probably just need a kick in the arse to hurry it up a bit.
                            Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes to U.N. intervention but with no U.S. troops, not even in support or humanitarian roles.
                              Best regards, Major H
                              [email protected]

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