12 October 2006

Where To In Darfur?

As the "international community" twiddles its thumbs the situation in Darfur gets worse, and a new report suggests a much tougher approach is required:

"The International Crisis Group says diplomacy has "failed" and targeted sanctions are now needed to prevent the humanitarian situation from worsening.

It calls for economic measures to be applied to key business interests, in particular Sudan's petroleum sector.

The ICG has a good background article on Sudan.

The report's conclusions are:

"Diplomatic efforts to persuade Khartoum to accept the UN deployment should continue to be pursued – not least by African Union and Arab League countries – but unfortunately there can be few grounds left for optimism that they will succeed. Given the difficulties involved in contemplating full-scale non-consensual military intervention if Khartoum does continues to refuse the expanded UN mission in Darfur, the international community has little choice but to pursue an action plan based primarily on economic, legal and more limited military measures in order to change the NCP’s calculus of costs and benefits with regard to cooperation.

Tough personal and business sanctions targeted at the NCP, in combination with relatively limited but cautionary military actions, including the establishment and enforcement of a no-fly-zone as a logical extension of the ban on offensive military overflights that the Security Council established in 2005 but failed to follow up on, are called for, as well as steps to make the ICC investigation more effective. The international community must also correct its grave error in not continuing to pursue efforts to secure an all-inclusive peace agreement. The DPA has been a failure, and the AU, with U.S., EU and UN support, must now actively resume consultations with all sides, including stakeholders that were not part of the Abuja negotiations, to correct its shortcomings.

However, if the situation continues to deteriorate -- if there is further major displacement, humanitarian access is cut off, the government offensive continues and the NCP still refuses to accept a UN peacekeeping mission, the balance of argument in favour of non-consensual deployment, in terms of the relevant criteria of legitimacy, may change. Planning for that contingency should begin."

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