Monday, December 26, 2005

Once again, Bush Administration to the rescue...again.

Africa: Washington Post runs one of those pretentious not based in reality op-ed pieces from Senators Obama and Brownback on Darfur.

It is essential that the Bush administration shift its approach to confront the new and mounting challenges. Only the United States, working in concert with key nations, has the leverage and resources to persuade Khartoum to change its ways:
The problem with this is that "key nations" have no desire to persuade Khartoum to do anything. Here is an interesting illustration via Human Rights Watch on Oil holdings in Sudan, many of these key nations have various interests, mostly oil, France has oil and uranium holdings and are opposed to sanctions being forced on Sudan even as going so far to say no genocide is occuring, just a civil war. America has leverage and resources to go only so far.
First, the administration must help transform the African Union protection force into a sizable, effective multinational force. In the near term, Washington must pressure Khartoum to allow more advisers from Western nations to embed within the African Union's mission so they support intelligence, logistics and communications. It must work with other nations to provide military assets to African Union forces, such as attack helicopters and armored personnel carriers, so they can respond immediately to attacks. And it must urge the African Union to be more aggressive in protecting civilians. More important, Washington must immediately spearhead efforts to create a larger multinational force. The African Union has begun discussions with the United Nations about folding itself into a follow-on U.N. mission, but because of the West's reluctance to offend African sensibilities, all parties seem resigned to muddling along. It has become clear that a U.N.- or NATO-led force is required, and the administration must use diplomacy to override Chinese and Sudanese opposition to such a force and persuade outside troops to join it.
Yeah, Bush Admin has been trying to get anything going in Darfur, so far we have a couple of travel bans and asset freezing. Sudan won't let any foreign troops have the power to do anything other than guard whatever refugees they can. African Union/Sudan will resist any option where America or the West takes "charge" of the situation and lays down certain requirements. Russia and China will not endorse harsh measures on Sudan. Obama and Brownback know this, so they set up a no win scenario to blame the Bush Admin if nothing else is done or if they perform some miracle, try to take credit.
Second, the administration must keep up the pressure on the rebels to unite their negotiating positions, and it must enlist Sudan's allies to increase the pressure on Khartoum to share power and resources.
If they are allies of Sudan, why the hell would they pressure them, what is the incentive? People in Southern Sudan don't care about Darfur.

The death of John Garang was also a blow to the prospect of peace in Dafur. He wanted to unite Sudan’s marginalized areas, including Darfur. But his successor, Salva Kiir, has shown less interest in the plight of Darfuris. Mr. Taban says a unified Sudan is now unlikely. "Salva Kiir does not give a damn [about] Darfur," he said. "The majority of southerners don’t give a damn of [about] Darfur. It was really mostly Garang’s own charisma. That’s why he was able to carry many southerners. [He would say], this is our chance of ruling, and we cannot rule without the support of these people, who he called rural Sudan."

There are way too many rebel and militia groups running around which makes getting a peace process going difficult, now you have other parts of Sudan not really caring as they have their own problems, it becomes impossible.
Third, the United States and other nations must place additional pressure on key nations -- Chad, Eritrea and Libya -- to stop playing a destructive role in the conflict.
Considering Eritrea and Ethopia wants to go at it over border issues, Chad accusing Sudan of aiding rebels who have attacked in eastern Chad, while Sudan is accusing Eritrea and Chad of aiding the Darfur rebels who may be the two countries that have helped the rebels from not getting crushed. I don't think anyone is going to tell them to stop which will bring accusations of imperial west trying to order around the Africans.
Fourth, the administration needs to place its weight behind the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, which would impose targeted sanctions on the leading perpetrators of the genocide.

Useless act even with the money behind it to fund and supply the African Union who are in some cases less capable than the Sudan backed forces.If you put 12,000 AU troops in Darfur, it will not be enough. The threat of the sanctions, travel bans and the ICC against individuals is a joke since the Sudanese government will not hand over people.

The Bush administration has helped reduce suffering in Darfur, but the situation is dangerously adrift. And when the history of this tragedy is written, nobody will remember how many times officials visited the region or how much humanitarian aid was delivered. They will only remember the death toll.
This is not the Bush Administration problem to solve and push on its own. When I see Obama and Brownback publicly berating the United Nations, Europe and especially African countries for sitting on their rear ends while America does the heavy lifting literally and figuratively. Then I will look at this op-ed in a different light other than just a whinefest. Darfur needs everyone on the same page to stop the killing and willing to do more than just sanctions that have no teeth or have monthly briefings at the United Nations that are shown off as doing something. If you want Sudan to know you mean business, you have to convince them it is in their best interest to help stop the killings. If they don't there will be major consequences.

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