"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Friday, September 15, 2006 U.N. says Southern Sudan peace agreement in trouble
Below is an interesting and troubling article from Reuters. Of particular note is the Khartoum's government not living up to monitoring agreements in one oil-rich region ... as well as the paucity of respurces to meet the need of the southern Sudanese and the increasing number of returning refugees.Also note Kofi Annan continuing to affirm the need of peace in Darfur to establish lasting peace in the south.
I was listening to President Bush's press conference today and he spoke about Darfur ... called what is going on there a genocide and laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of the United Nations for lack of intervention. His exact words were:
"I'm frustrated with the United Nations in regards to Darfur. I have said, and this government has said, there's genocide taking place in Sudan. And it breaks our collective hearts to know that. I'm troubled by reports I hear about escalating violence. I can understand the desperation people feel for women being pulled out of these refugees centers and raped. And now is the time for the U.N. to act." (Source: CNN.com)
(To this, I mused that his administration seemed to have no problems intervening in other places using high-sounding phrases like "Operation Iraqi Freedom" but where people are not only being oppressed but butchered by the tens of thousands, we wring our hands as if powerless.). The president is going to be heading to the U.N. to speak to the General Assembly. Since he seems unwilling (or unable because we are spread so thin militarily) to send U.S. troops into Darfur on a mercy mission to stop the slaughter, let us pray that the President does indeed use his bully pulpit to urge a strong U.N. response that doesn't buy into the stalling tactics of the Khartoum government.
We lose what little moral authority we might have left as a country if we supposedly champion freedom of some and ignore the slaughter of others based on strategic interest and natural resources.
Anyway, enough commentary ... to the article!
------------------------- UN says southern Sudan peace agreement in trouble By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 13 (Reuters) - A peace pact that ended a 21-year civil war in southern Sudan appears to be crumbling, with important pledges ignored or circumvented, according to a report by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan late on Tuesday.
The January 2005 agreement, if implemented, could signal a major change in Sudan, including power and wealth sharing and integrating security forces.
But some of the basic tenets, including election planning and dividing oil revenues have not been met, as set out in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Khartoum government and the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the report to the U.N. Security Council said.
"While they are observing their security commitments reasonably well, the implementation of several other major provisions of this agreement has fallen behind schedule," Annan wrote. "It is clear that implementing the CPA is a daunting challenge."
The United Nations has some 10,000 peacekeepers in the south to monitor the agreement and help train police, human rights workers and provide other services.
It has set up a radio station where there was none but the Khartoum government has ignored an agreement with the world body and refused to allow broadcasts in the north.
Moreover, the U.N. Mission in Sudan, known as UNMIS, has not been permitted to monitor the oil-rich Abyei region. Sudan customs has also delayed the release "of a wide range of items, including food rations" and held some major communications equipment since February, the report said.
In the impoverished south where paved roads are rare, some 370 km (230 miles) of roads have been repaired, contributing to the return of over 10,000 refugees, food aid to 3 million people and polio immunization of 4.8 million children, the report said.
But donors have not lived up to their pledges, committing $430 million of the $2.6 billion needed for reconstruction. Annan also said that multi-donor trust funds, administered by the World Bank, "have proved ill-suited to meet immediate post-conflict requirements."
Still, Annan said that a durable peace in the south would not take hold until the crisis in the western region of Darfur had been resolved. In recent months fighting has increased between rebels and government-backed militia, with the Sudanese military sending in troops and bombing villages.
Sudan has refused to allow the United Nations to take over peacekeeping duties in Darfur, now handled by under-financed and under-equipped African Union forces.
| Mike at 9/15/2006 12:15:00 PM
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