Peacekeepers for Darfur?

Yesterday, as I wrote about the haggling that was going on in the United Nations Security Council, the members managed to bring the proposal to establish a joint AU/UN force of peacekeepers in the region to a unanimous vote. The resolution doesn’t set an exact date for the deployment, but states that the peacekeepers will be in place by Dec 31 (2007).

Not only is there no set date for the deployment of this new force, but the wrangling that went into the resolution left it less aggressive than it should have been.

Tuesday’s resolution passed by the U.N. won Khartoum’s praise after it was watered down to drop the threat of sanctions against Sudan if it fails to accept the force and an authorization for the new force to seize or collect arms. The changes were made in negotiations between Security Council members to avoid a veto by China, Sudan’s top diplomatic ally.

With the elimination of any statement holding Sudan to its side of the agreement with the threat of sanctions, it’s still highly likely that Khartoum will interfere as it has in the past. We’ll probably see Sudan’s reluctance to issue visas to UN members and contractors, as well as the quarantining or outright confiscation of equipment.

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