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Sudan Tribune

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UN Peacekeepers in Darfur, better late than never

Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom

Mat 22, 2006 (WASHINGTON) — The U.N. Security Council resolution calling for accelerated planning for a United Nations peacekeeping force in Sudan’s Darfur region is a welcome move by the UN body, but it has come at such a high cost for the people of Darfur. “Never say again never” following the Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, has now become “better late than never” in Sudan’s Western region of Darfur.

Unlike in Southern Sudan where 2.4 million died silently, the conflict in Darfur, which has since claimed over 300,000 lives and driven more than 2.4 million people from their homes, had a high media profile right from the very beginning. Aid organizations, US Secretaries of State, and UN officials who visited the region several times, have consistently reported on the gravity of the situation.

The UN Security Council was aware, that the African Union Peace Keeping Mission in Sudan (AMIS), which was deployed in 2004, has been suffering from poor funding, inadequate resources. AMIS did not have the mandate to use force to protect civilians, or enforce the cease-fire to contain the escalating bloodshed in Darfur, an arid desert region the size of France. The short comings of the African mission was clear from the very beginning, but the UN body chose to experiment with the AU to buy time, as it wrestled with political wrangling, special interests, and its own bureaucracy.

Overall, on many occasions the UN Security Council missed opportunities to act promptly to prevent losses of many innocent lives in Darfur, and avoid yet another dark Chapter of human history in the 21st century. Darfur is a failure for UN secretary General Kofi Annan, the UN Security Council, and the member countries with veto power who have put their interest before the people of Darfur, which resulted in much human pain and suffering.

Though there is delay on the part of the UN Security Council to do the right thing, its time speedy action is taken to immediately deploy a robust UN peacekeeping force under Chapter 7 Mandate to protect the civilian in Darfur, and move the peace process forward.

Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom is dismayed by delayed response, but the organization welcomes the efforts of the UN Security Council and all the parties involved in resolving the conflict. Never say never again, is better late than never for the people of Darfur.

Contact: Jimmy Mulla 202-360-9324,

SSVF 1925 K Street, N.W # 400, Washington, DC 20006