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        Wednesday, September 06, 2006
        Sudan: Going downhill fast
        Just reading the headlines on Sudan these days makes ones head spin. It has been six days since the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1706 "by vote of 12 in favour, with 3 abstaining" – for what it's worth – and the list of headlines is getting bigger and scarier.

        • African peacekeepers to leave Darfur unless Sudan agrees to U.N. force - AP 09/05/06
        • Annan warns Khartoum over Darfur - AFP 09/05/06
        • Annan warns Khartoum over Darfur - AFP 09/05/06
        • Govt Should Accept International Help On Darfur, Annan Says - UN 09/05/06
        • Ethiopia to Open Consulate in Juba - EH 09/05/06
        • Floods kill 27, damage 10,000 houses in Sudan, threatening government ministries offices - REUTERS 09/04/06
        • Russia criticises "hasty" UN resolution on Darfur - REUTERS 09/04/06
        • Sudan says AU must accept deal keeping U.N. force out of Darfur, or leave - AP 09/04/06
        • Slovenian envoy convicted of espionage in Sudan leaves prison - AFP 09/04/06
        • Sudan asks African monitors to leave Darfur - AFP 09/04/06
        • Russia calls for fresh UN-Sudan dialogue over Darfur peacekeepers - AFP 09/04/06
        • African monitors confirm renewed fighting in Darfur - AFP 09/04/06
        • Darfur rebels say government on offensive, Cabinet asks AU to leave - AP 09/04/06
        • Nigerian sends troops to war-torn Darfur - AFP 09/04/06
        • South Sudan capital dreams of Nile boom-town status after years of war - AFP 09/04/06
        • Sudan's position incomprehensible - Gulf News/ Editorial 09/03/06
        • Obama Visits Sudanese Refugees in Chad - AP 09/03/06
        • Sudanese president pardons Slovenian 'spy' - AFP 09/02/06
        • Darfur rebel group vows to cooperate with UN force - AFP 09/02/06
        • US appeals court allows Cole families suit against Sudan to proceed - AP 09/02/06
        • Obama meets with Chad president - Chicago Sun-Times 09/01/06
        • Nile floods raise spectre of disease in Sudan: - AFP 09/01/06
        • Sudan launches new offensive in Darfur - AP 09/01/06
        • Egypt warns of deploying UN troops against Sudan's consent - DPA 09/01/06
        • Sudan VP vows resistance to UN peacekeepers - AFP 09/01/06
        • US warns media over travel to Darfur after journalist arrests - AFP 09/01/06
        • Sudanese official rejects UN resolution - AFP 09/01/06
        • SUDAN: Army unleashes military offensive in Darfur - IRIN 09/01/06 (

        Meanwhile, members of the Security Council members are patting their backs for adopting the resolution. British Foreign Office Minister David Triesman said "The vital thing to say is that this resolution does address the international humanitarian catastrophe and it does address the security issues which would make it possible to do something about that catastrophe."

        I must admit, the resolution does address the "humanitarian catastrophe and …security issues" on paper. However, it is absurd to claim that the resolution is making "it possible to do something about that catastrophe" without the controversial invitation by the Sudanese government.

        The main issue for China, one of the three countries which abstained along with Russia and Qatar, was that the Sudan government has to consent to the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). In reality, China didn't even have to abstain because without the Sudan government's concession, the resolution can't go anywhere. They would have gotten their wish anyway.

        Timing was another reason for China, Russia and Qatar to abstain. The Council’s document reads "even those countries that had abstained did not fundamentally disagree with the issues of the text -- it was more about the timing." What could they possibly be disagreeing about the timing? Not enough people are dead? The militia had a quota of raped women and girls it hasn't met? There still are people living in their homes in Darfur who should be in camps? What?

        Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana, the Council’s presidents take on the whole issue is confusingly interesting…(it may require re-hindging the jaw)

        Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), speaking in his national capacity, said that as many as 16 countries were already taking part in the African Union mission, and his country was proud to be one of them. Although the text adopted today was not a magic wand, its adoption was timely and gave the Sudan an opportunity be part of the solution to the Darfur crisis. On the other hand, however, the Government bore the responsibility to protect the victims of war in the Sudan, and for that reason, Ghana had reservations about explicit language in the text regarding the Government’s agreement to the deployment of an international force. (my own emphasis)

        So, what exactly was the point of this exercise of drafting and adopting a resolution?

        Personally, I believe that UK’s and US handling of the whole Iraq WMD (war on terror - I have forgotten which one it was) has given Sudan (assisted by Russia)the perfect excuse to shout "regime change" and reject UN peacekeepers. The UK and US pushed for hasty delivery of the resolution, and you I don't have to be a political analyst to come to this conclusion. They should have made the other co-sponsors of the resolution (Greece, Tanzania, Slovakia, Denmark, Argentina & France) the front runners and made themselves scarce. And let the lesson be, your foreign policy for one country may come back and bite you from behind or something like that.
        posted by Fikirte @ 1:10 PM   Digg!
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