How Did That Not Work?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Did That Not Work?

Last week, the UN passed a resolution to send peacekeepers to Darfur by expanding the current UNMIS mission in southern Sudan to cover the area and, presumably, incorporate the 7,000 or so African Union troops in the region into the new, expanded UNMIS force.

Not surprisingly, Khartoum did not take too kindly to the move and, in response, launched a massive attack against the rebel hold-outs in Darfur and told the African Union to get out of the country when its mandate expires at the end of the month in order to prevent the AU force from being rolled into UNMIS.

How did it come to this?

Well, the AU has been pretty much unable to do anything at all since they have a very limited mandate and, more importantly, almost no funding.

For example
The African Union force apparently does not even have enough money to pull its troops out, so it might stay anyway and if a deal can be worked out, it might yet form part of a UN force.
How poorly funded must the AU be if it can't even cover the cost of getting shut down and thrown out of the country?

The international community let the AU take the lead on Darfur because nobody else wanted to deal with it. The theory was that the AU would go in, thereby allowing the UN to stay out of it while still taking credit for something being done.

Unfortunately, the UN member nations couldn't manage to get it together enough to actually fund the AU and ensure that it was actually effective, so now - three years and 500,000 deaths later - the UN gets to try and deal with a far more dangerous and increasingly complicated situation itself.

As Ned Flanders' mom said: "You gotta help us, Doc. We've tried nothin' and we're all out of ideas."

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