The United Nations has passed a resolution to send peacekeeping troops — amounting to 20,500 men — to the devastated Darfur region of western Sudan. Twelve Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution, while China, Russia and Qatar abstained from the vote, and Sudan boycotted the session entirely.
Even though activists and human rights groups have been pleading with the United Nations or NATO to intervene in the on-going violence, there is little cause to celebrate this resolution, as it requires the cooperation of the Sudan government. Khartoum has continuously resisted outside efforts of intervention.
Meanwhile, the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate as the African Union is reporting that they have insufficient funds to pay the 7,000 troops currently in place. As they attempt to patrol an area roughly the size of France, rebel groups continue to kill aid workers as the violence begins to encroach on Chad and the Central African Republic.
As Kingsley Amaning, the UN representative in Chad stated:
[The Darfur conflict] is creating armed groups that are destabilising entire populations in the east, and now it is moving towards the south, towards Central Africa.
[Ongoing attacks] may continue to weaken government institutions and apparatus and certainly make the life of ordinary citizens almost impossible, creating vulnerability all round.
With the restrictions placed on the United Nations resolution, it’s doubtful that any progress will be seen in the near future.