Darfur and Responsibility
Darfur and Responsibility
A Breakthrough in Sudan’s Impasse?
A Breakthrough in Sudan’s Impasse?
Op-Ed / Africa

Darfur and Responsibility

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer's article "NATO and the EU: lending a helping hand in Darfur" (EV 15 July 2005) is a clear explanation of exactly why the international community is falling short in its responsibility to protect the people of Darfur, more than 5000 of whom are still dying each month from violence or war-related disease and malnutrition.

NATO's response to date may demonstrates good will, but ignores the fact that there are significant resources available, such as its Reaction Force, that could immediately bring much of the killing and dying to an end and give the African Union much needed time and space to build up its own forces.

Deferring to the AU's insistence that there be an African-only force so as to "bolster the capacity of the African Union" is unhelpful both to the people of Darfur and to the AU itself: the establishment of viable AU crisis response capability will be significantly undermined if the AU fails in Darfur

NATO and the wider international community need to prioritise the protection of the innocent and move beyond the notion that the atrocity crimes in Darfur are solely African problems requiring exclusively African solutions. Equally the AU should accept that if it cannot immediatey deliver the level of protection needed - requiring at least another 5 000-7 000 troops on the ground right now - then it must work with those in the international community who can.

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