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Analysis: Khartoum Doesn't Want UN Force

Council on Foreign Relations

August 24, 2006
Prepared by: Stephanie Hanson

The steady flow of bad news out of Sudan's Darfur region this summer continues to intensify. Aid agencies report a sharp increase in sexual attacks on displaced women (BBC), a new UN report says children are still being recruited by the Sudanese army and other armed groups, and more humanitarian workers were killed (VOA) in the last two weeks of July than in the previous two years of conflic. Adding to the concerns, UN peacekeeping officials are warning of a major military offensive by Sudanese forces in Darfur. "It was bad," says Jan Egeland, the UN's chief humanitarian official. "It's now becoming catastrophic" (NPR).

The UN Security Council has grappled with Darfur for more than two years, as the number of dead has grown to the hundreds of thousands and the displaced swelled to more than 2.5 million people. But Council members are now considering a plan to send at least 17,000 peacekeeping troops to the region—a force called for in Security Council Resolution 1679. Khartoum, however, has repeatedly refused such a force (Reuters). Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir warned this week that deployment would turn Darfur into a "graveyard" of Western troops (Mail & Guardian). Bashir proposes using around 10,000 Sudanese troops to secure Darfur, a plan that observers say only foreshadows more violence in the region. "This is showing their military intentions," says David Buchbinder, a Darfur researcher at Human Rights Watch, "I don't think this in any way is going to protect civilians" (NYT).

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Copyright 2006 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on with specific permission from the Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to

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