Sudan: Marching Towards Anarchy

Saad Khan, writing an op-ed in Lebanon’s Daily Star points out that it would require a huge troop presence to stabilize Darfur:

“The mountains in Darfur are inaccessible. Everybody traditionally carries weapons. When Sierra Leone with 1/35th the area needed 17,000 UN troops to maintain peace, it would be unrealistic to expect 2000 African Union troops to perform miracles. Even 600,000 troops would fall short of requirement in Sudan.”

He goes on to argue that disarming militias either within 30 days (the UN’s demands) or within 120 days (the Arab League’s counterproposal) is “a big joke”. He argues:

“The disarming and demobilizing is simply impossible, in the short term, even if the United States Marines swarm the area. The people who have seen rapes of their daughters are not expected to give away their self-defense weapons. In the tribal set-up, even the aggressors and rapists would never surrender weapons, fearing revenge.”

Unfortunately, his proposed solution sounds a lot like the US’s solution to the Iraq “problem” – precisely what Khartoum and many Arab league countries fear:

“The solution lies in forcing the resignation of Bashir government through international pressure, or even other stronger means, and then a sustained democracy has to be put in place.”

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