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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 August, 2004, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Q&A: Has Darfur security improved?
Militia man on horseback in Darfur
Attacks on civilians continue despite the UN resolution
The BBC's Hilary Andersson in Darfur in western Sudan assesses how successful the government has been in complying with UN demands to rein in the Arab Janjaweed militia and improve security by 30 August.

What is the UN's verdict likely to be?

The UN is almost certainly going to put a big tick in the box of the Sudanese government for opening up access to humanitarian aid in the region, as there has been a lot of progress on that front.

For diplomatic reasons they are also likely to say there has been bit of an improvement in the security situation.

However, observers on the ground say a lot of the refugees are still living in daily fear of attacks by the Janjaweed or beatings and harassment by Sudanese security forces.

Is there any evidence that the Sudanese government is trying to improve security?

They have been putting on a good show.

They have put thousands of Sudanese policemen into 12 safe areas that the government has set up around Darfur.

DARFUR CONFLICT

But this is not really making a difference to the daily lives and feeling of security for the refugees themselves.

They have absolutely no faith in anybody from any security structure in the Sudanese government. They say they fled their villages because of attacks by Janjaweed militias working together with government forces.

The thousands of displaced people now living in camps are unhappy that they are now supposedly being protected by the people they originally fled.

What action is the UN likely to take?

If the UN decides progress has not been made they have the option of punitive measures such as sanctions.

But the international community is extremely divided over the issue, because if sanctions are imposed they risk losing the Sudanese government as a negotiating partner.

The most probable option is that they will extend the deadline for Sudan's government to take action to improve security.

There might also be pressure and debate within the UN Security Council when it meets on Thursday for a bigger mandate for the AU forces. Their mandate at the moment is to protect AU ceasefire monitors, not to protect the civilians.

The Nigerian senate has cleared the way for up to 1,500 troops to be sent to the region, but the Sudanese government has resisted such moves or attempts at strengthening the current 300-strong AU forces' remit to one of peacekeeping.





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