BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2007, 15:43 GMT
Darfur peace force 'set to fail'
The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS)
The 26,000-hybrid force is due to deploy within weeks
The hybrid United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force for Darfur in Sudan is "being set up to fail", a report by 35 aid organisations warns.

It says the mission is hamstrung by Sudanese government obstruction and a lack of critical logistical support.

Khartoum has yet to agree to the deployment of non-African troops, is blocking night flights and insists on restricting the force's communications.

The 26,000-strong UN peacekeeping force is due to deploy in Darfur next year.

More than 200,000 people have died in the more than four-year conflict between rebels and pro-government forces in Darfur.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) says the lives of civilians are at risk because of delays in the deployment.

"The Sudanese government must stop playing games with the lives of the Darfuri people," said AI's Africa Programme Director Erwin van der Borght.

"They must allow the UN peacekeeping force to do their job effectively. That means allowing them all facilities, personnel and infrastructure necessary."

'Stubborn'

The joint report by organisations including Human Rights Watch sets out five ways in which the Sudanese government is actively obstructing the deployment of the UN/AU Hybrid Mission for Darfur (Unamid):

  • No approval for non-African troops
  • No approval for night flights
  • Insistence on the right to block communications
  • No allocation of land for Unamid bases
  • No agreement on resources for Unamid.

map

"Sudan is saying 'yes' and then doing everything in its power to obstruct and undermine the hybrid force," Steve Crawshaw of Human Rights Watch said.

UN member states also come in for criticism by the non-governmental organisations' report which says they urgently need to guarantee transport.

"It's also inexcusable that the international community continues to stubbornly refuse to provide the helicopters Unamid so desperately needs," said Amjad Atallah of the Save Darfur Coalition.

AI says that "more people's lives will be at risk if the Sudanese government continues to thwart and delay peacekeeping plans".

The NGOs say that mass displacement and the killings and rapes of civilians in Darfur have not ceased over the five months of prevarication by Khartoum and that humanitarian aid workers have been assaulted, wounded and threatened.

"Until the [UN] Security Council is prepared to exert real pressure, Sudan will continue to manipulate the situation to ensure there is no effective force on the ground in Darfur, " said Moataz El Fegiery of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.

Earlier this month, Sudan rejected a complaint by UN chief Ban Ki-moon that it was delaying the deployment of Unamid.



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific