Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The AU in Darfur
Some of its men have not been paid for four months, over 100 vehicles have been stolen, and 19 of its soldiers have been killed. With a mandate that only allows them to react to violence with diplomacy, many have wondered why the 7000-strong AU force bothered to arrive. Their presence does not seem to have halted the violence, but seems to have wrapped the rest of the world in a warm blanket of complacency, safe in the knowledge that 'at least someone is there'.

Lessons that were painfully learnt in Rwanda are not being headed here; if you task a 'peace force' to halt violence, you have to allow them to take real preventative measures. In saying this I am fully cognisant if the difficulties; governments unwilling to send their sons and daughters into humanitarian battles that fall outside strategic spheres; unwlling to commit the additional budgets required to protect their forces in full battle mode. However, I believe if the objectives of these missions are to be met, and Rwanda-like consequences are to be avoided in Dafur, a greater commitment must be made.