AU Force: The "Bull Without Horns"

Monday, June 26, 2006

AU Force: The "Bull Without Horns"

Why has the African Union force been unable to protect civilians in Darfur? Slate's Linda Mason explains:
Col. Kamili Karegye, the Rwandan A.U. sector commander, told me there had never been an attack in his sector during a firewood patrol. But although his troops conduct patrols for five camps, seven local camps are left unprotected for lack of A.U. personnel.

... As Col. Kamili explained, the A.U. troops don't have the means to intervene in conflict. He had headed for Jebel Marra the previous week but had been turned back at a rebel roadblock. The A.U. mandate didn't permit his convoy to force its way through. And the lightly armed A.U. troops are no match for the rebels or government troops and militias.

Increasingly, A.U. officers feel that they are becoming targets who cannot protect themselves, let alone protect innocent civilians. Speaking of the African Union's limited equipment and mandate, one officer said, "We are bulls without horns."

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