Aug 1st, 2007, 07:00 AM
Heard the news this morning and immediately thought of a recent poll (last week?) where some Canadians thought that our efforts should be focused elsewhere. So, should those efforts be focused on Darfur? Should Canada send people, materiel and money to this region if asked by the UN?
CTV.ca | UN approves peacekeeping force for Darfur (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070731/un_darfur_070731/20070731?hub=CTVNewsAt11)
Aug 1st, 2007, 07:37 AM
If we have the capacity, yes. If not, then it needs to be coordinated with any changes to the work in Afghanistan. Given this news MPs, upon their return for the fall session, should discuss the approach to 2009 as soon as possible. Canada may not be able to commit a lot to Sudan at the moment, but may be able to gradually increase the commitment.
Aug 1st, 2007, 08:16 AM
Beej's response was well thought out.
I support UN peacekeeping missions and am sure Canada would assist if it was asked.
Aug 1st, 2007, 09:53 AM
Based on what I have read on the situation in Darfur and Sudan, no. My concern is that we will end up in another Romeo Dallaire / Rwanda situation. Also 26 000 troops and police seems awfully small.The Darfur area has been characterized as being the size of France or Texas, ie. well over 550 000 to 675 000 sq km. Sierra Leone is 71 740 sq km and it took 17000 UN troops to deal with it. And this was a case where there was a signed peace agreement in place.
Also complicating the situation is the organized movement of Arabs from Chad and Niger into the Darfur region of Sudan.
One UN official said the process "appeared to have been well planned". The official continued: "This movement is very large. We have not seen such numbers come into west Darfur before."
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, sent a team to the border with Chad at the end of May to interview the new arrivals. Fighting in eastern Chad has been steadily increasing and it was thought that many could be refugees. But only a very small number have required support from UNHCR.
"Most have been relocated by Sudanese Arabs to former villages of IDPs (internally displaced people) and more or less invited to stay there," said the UN official.
The arrivals have been issued with official Sudanese identity cards and awarded citizenship, and analysts say that by encouraging Arabs from Chad, Niger and other parts of Sudan to move to Darfur the Sudanese government is making it "virtually impossible" for displaced people to return home.
James Smith, chief executive of the Aegis Trust, said the revelations proved that the Sudanese government was "cynically trying to change the demographics of the whole region", adding: "If the ethnic cleansing has been consolidated because the land has been repopulated it will become irreversible. The peace process will fall to pieces."
Arabs pile into Darfur to take land 'cleansed' by janjaweed - Independent Online Edition > Africa (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa/article2768232.ece)