The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

August 1, 2023

Associated Press: U.N. Approves Darfur Peacekeeping Force. The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a 26,000-strong peacekeeping force for Darfur to help end four years of rape and slaughter in the vast Sudanese region that the world has failed to stop. The force -- the first joint peacekeeping operation by the African Union and the United Nations -- will replace the beleaguered 7,000-strong AU force now in Darfur no later than Dec. 31. While the council urged speedy deployment, the bulk of the force is not expected to be on the ground until next year, and the ultimate troop strength depends on the willingness of U.N. member states to contribute troops, police, logistics and sophisticated military hardware. If deployed fully, it will be the largest peacekeeping operation in the world. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ''historic and unprecedented resolution'' will send ''a clear and powerful signal'' of the U.N.'s commitment ''to improve the lives of the people of the region and close this tragic chapter in Sudan's history.'' U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad warned that if Sudan does not comply with the resolution ''the United States will move for the swift adoption of unilateral and multilateral measures.'' The resolution authorizes the much larger 26,000-strong hybrid force, which will be called UNAMID and have ''a predominantly African character,'' as Sudan demanded. The force will include up to 19,555 military personnel, a civilian component including up to 3,772 international police, and 19 special police units with up to 2,660 officers. The U.N. will have overall command but day-to-day operations will be the responsibility of the force commander, Gen. Martin Agwai of Nigeria.

Reuters: Sudan pledges to work with UN Darfur force. Sudan promised on Wednesday to cooperate with deployment of up to 26,000 U.N. and African Union troops and police to quell violence in Darfur after the U.N. Security Council authorised the force. "It is practical. It's taken into consideration most of our concerns -- we are comfortable with the resolution," Foreign Minister Lam Akol told Reuters. "Now that we have been part of the discussion we will definitely cooperate with it," he said, adding that the government had no problem with deploying the entire force, which is expected to take up to a year. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice welcomed the Security Council resolution, adding the United States expected Sudan's government to "live up to its commitments." Sally Chin, Sudan analyst from the International Crisis Group thinktank, said the unanimous vote -- including Sudan's ally China -- sent a strong signal. "Just because the 'sticks' of sanctions was removed from the text...does not mean they don't still exist as a tool, as the UK and the U.S. made very clear," she said. Activists from the Save Darfur Coalition welcomed the resolution but warned troop contributing countries they had to move quickly. "The world has failed Darfur on past occasions, condemning millions to a horrific fate," it said in a statement.

Associated Press: France, Denmark, Indonesia Offer Help. France, Denmark and Indonesia offered Wednesday to contribute to a joint United Nations-African Union mission for Darfur, a 26,000-strong force expected to be made up mostly of peacekeepers from Africa with backup from Asian troops. Coming up with such large numbers of new troops could be difficult, as many militaries are already overstretched in existing peacekeeping efforts and conflicts such as Iraq, observers say. Britain's military, for example, has 7,100 members in Afghanistan and 5,500 in Iraq. "We would consider requests to support the United Nations-Africans Mission in Darfur once we receive a formal request to do so," Britain's Defense Ministry said Wednesday, adding that it is already assisting the existing AU mission in Darfur in areas including logistics and planning. France offered to send soldiers and participate in the chain of command, as well as take part in reconstruction and humanitarian efforts, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said. He did not say how many troops France might contribute. Kouchner said UNAMID showed "a very new, very important phenonemon, which is that Africans want to take care of African affairs." Speaking on RTL radio, he added that U.N. troops in the force "would come mostly from Asia." Denmark's Defense Minister Soeren Gade said his country would definitely help. "Beside the fact that there is a need for quite a lot of soldiers, there is a need for logistical staff, people in the headquarters, ships that can ferry equipment on long distances, planes that can move equipment and personnel," he said in an interview from Iraq with the TV2 News channel. Desra Percaya, spokesman for Indonesia's foreign ministry, said the country was willing to contribute troops but was waiting for details on how many non-African troops are needed.

Tri-Valley Herald (Calif.): House passes Lee's Darfur divestiture bill. The House voted 418-1 Tuesday to pass Rep. Barbara Lee's bill to strengthen states' rights to divest from international companies whose business in Sudan supports genocide in Darfur, and to bar such companies from getting federal contracts. "No one should have to worry that they are supporting genocide, whether it's through their tax dollars or their pension fund," said Lee, D-Oakland. "This bill is designed to wash the blood off of our federal contracts, protect the rights of states to divest their own public pension funds from companies doing business in Sudan and increase the financial pressure on Khartoum to end the genocide in Darfur." H.R. 180, supported by 151 cosponsors including most of the Bay Area's delegation, would bar international companies whose business in Sudan directly or indirectly supports the genocide in Darfur from receiving taxpayer funded federal contracts, and would require the Treasury Department to compile and publish a list of such companies. It also protects states' rights to divest public pension funds from such companies, a provision included in the House version of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act passed in April but removed from that bill's Senate version after lobbying by the National Foreign Trade Council. H.R. 180 provides a "safe harbor" for mutual funds and pensions, letting them divest from companies doing business in Sudan without fear of lawsuits. The House in April voted 425-1 for Lee's resolution urging the Arab League to acknowledge and step up its efforts to end the Darfur genocide, and in June voted 410-0 for her resolution urging China "to use its unique influence and economic leverage" to influence the Khartoum regime. This latest bill now joins the earlier two, pending before the Senate.


The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition.  To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact  Ashley Roberts  at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].


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