Brown pledges aid for Darfur peacekeepers

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by HarryPalmer, Sep 16, 2007.

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  1. Reuters - Sunday, September 16 06:52 am

    LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday pledged technical support for peacekeepers due to go to Sudan's Darfur region, but warned Khartoum of possible further sanctions if it failed to make "necessary changes".

    He was speaking in a BBC interview as human rights groups prepared protests and marches in a "Global Day for Darfur" in around 30 countries including Britain.

    Brown described as "one of the great tragedies of our time" the 4 1/2-year Darfur conflict, in which international experts say some 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes. Khartoum disputes the figures.

    The Sudanese government and Darfur rebels are to hold peace talks on October 27 in Libya under the auspices of the United Nations and African Union.

    Britain, Sudan's former colonial ruler, says it will not contribute soldiers to the 26,000-strong joint U.N. and African Union peacekeepers in line with Khartoum's demand for a predominantly African presence in Darfur.

    Brown's promise of "technical help" was understood to mean airlifting African peacekeepers to the region or possibly supplying equipment to help them operate.

    Brown told the BBC a ceasefire and political settlement was needed.

    "If that were to happen, we'd be prepared to give economic assistance so that the people of Darfur were in a better position and we can start to rebuild.

    "If it doesn't work and we find that the government of Sudan is not making the changes necessary, then we will have to move to further sanctions," he said in remarks on the BBC Web site.

    Sudan signed a joint statement with the United Nations this month agreeing to end violence in Darfur, prepare for the peace talks and help deploy the peacekeepers.

    Brown said the peacekeeping force should be deployed this year, but officials have indicated next year was more likely.

    Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Malloch Brown said in an interview with the Observer on Sunday that the peacekeepers expected a fight with groups like the government-allied Arab militias known as the Janjaweed.

    "I'm sure the forces will be tested early on by "janjaweed" elements who want to humiliate it. But this is an enforcement force not an observation force. It will be stepping in to protect civilians who are under attack," said Malloch Brown, who visited Darfur this month.

    Britain and France last month revived the spectre of sanctions against Khartoum if progress is not made on a Darfur ceasefire and at the peace talks. The United States has also threatened wider sanctions.

    The U.N. Security Council has already imposed an arms embargo on rebels and militia but not on the government.

    China is to send more than 300 engineering troops to Darfur next month to help prepare for the peacekeeping force, but Beijing has been seen as the main opponent on the U.N. Security Council to Western moves for sanctions.
  2. Hmmm - that means they will stand aside and watch the butchery. These types of force never work - I doubt they will even get to ther scenes of the incident in time.
  3. We can't even airlift our own troops or supply adequate equipment, so what hope have we of supplying someone elses army????

    It just goes to show that our beloved leaders don't exist on the same planet as we mere mortals, let alone the same dimension :roll:
  4. Brown told the BBC a ceasefire and political settlement was needed.

    "If that were to happen, we'd be prepared to give economic assistance so that the people of Darfur were in a better position and we can start to rebuild

    Brilliant more cash leaking out of the country

  5. I'm sure there's a study that shows that money spent outside this country does a hell of a lot more good than most of what's spend here. Playstation 3 in every cell, anyone?
  6. Well where is he going to get the funds from? Will it be cutbacks in UK public spending or even more taxes?

    When you claim that money spent outside the UK does more good than that spent inside, what does that mean specifically? How is the "more" measured and who are the recipients of this "good"?

    Playstations in cells? Hell No! More cells perhaps or more afordable housing maybe. That would be nice.

    I don't particularly like many of the changes in the UK over the last few decades. Using money to make things better here would be preferable from my POV. I also have serious doubts where this money would end up. I am now cynical enough to believe that the vast majority of this foreign aid will find itself in the bank accounts of government officials and bsinessmen and very little do any real good for the most vulnerable.
  7. Nail hit on head-Brown is writing cheques that he cannot cash.No different from Blair really.As for 'technical support' to African Union troops,he's clearly no idea of how bad a group of soldiers,that bunch is.No tech support will imprive them.They are a tribal rabble,led by incompetents!!!

  8. mmmmmmmmmmmm more taxes I suppose, cut the NHS, teaching and pay more into Immigration and for overseas disasters. Dafur is a terrible nightmare but we should be sorting our own country out first. :roll:
  9. I pretty much agree. I do have feelings for other humans in a sh1t environment. I just do not believe our money would do much good there. Personally I think that it would end up funding a huge scam.
  10. It's called the law of diminishing returns. For every additional pound spent on something, the total utility ('good') devided by the total number of pounds spent decreases. E.g. a person who has £101 spent on them instead of a £100 will benefit from that extra pound far less than someone who has £1 spent on them instead of £0.
  11. From The Grauniad, but pertinent...

    Africa mission Be prepared for betrayal, UN Darfur force warned

    · Peacekeepers face 'long odds' against success
    · Brown insists Sudan must live up to promise
    Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
    Monday September 17, 2007

    The former commander of the failed UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda yesterday warned the newly appointed head of a similar force in Darfur that he faced "long odds" against success and predicted he would be betrayed by the very officials and governments meant to be backing the mission.

    In an open letter Roméo Dallaire, now a Canadian senator, advised Martin Agwai, the Nigerian general given the task of stopping the bloodshed in Darfur, to demand a clear chain of command, a broad mandate, proper resources and a rapid deployment. He also cautioned him to watch his back.

    "You can anticipate being let down by everyone on whom you depend for support, be that troops, funding, logistics or political engagement," Senator Dallaire wrote. "Bear in mind that whoever fails you will, in the end, be the most active in blaming you for whatever goes wrong."

    The outspoken letter was delivered on a Global Day for Darfur, involving protests in 30 countries focusing attention on the crisis in the west Sudanese province where an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have been forced from their homes.

    Gordon Brown yesterday promised technical support for the mission of General Agwai, who leads the 26,000-strong joint UN and African Union force, Unamid, set up following a security council resolution in July. The prime minister told the BBC he wanted Unamid to be in Darfur before the end of the year, or earlier.

    Yesterday China announced it planned to send 315 personnel to help prepare for Unamid's arrival. African states have said they will provide the bulk of the 20,000 soldiers and 6,000 police but there is still considerable uncertainty over which countries will provide equipment and infrastructure. Deployment of the full force is expected to run into next year.

    Calling the Darfur crisis "one of the great tragedies of our time" Mr Brown said that if the Sudanese government failed to play its role in bringing peace to the region, and in allowing the Unamid deployment, it would face further sanctions. Peace talks with Darfur rebels are planned for late October in Tripoli. The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has pledged that the government will observe a ceasefire during negotiations.

    The Unamid force is an experimental hybrid, and the division of responsibilities between the UN and AU is as yet vague.

    Senator Dallaire's first piece of advice for General Agwai is that he should insist his political bosses in the UN and the AU sort out the chain of command; he will also need to "prevent intervention from Khartoum", predicted to try to dilute Unamid's powers to protect civilians. "This is a daunting mandate, and you enter into this mission facing long odds," Senator Dallaire said. "The intentions of the regime in Khartoum toward an effective, impartial implementation of the Unamid mandate are deeply uncertain."

    But the retired general's sharpest words question the political resolve of the UN and AU, which he says should be held to account for any lack of support when the new force is deployed. "Only by shining a spotlight on those failures in every possible way can you mobilise the attention necessary to get the action you need," is the advice he offers General Agwai.

    Senator Dallaire's warnings are relevant given his experience in Rwanda in 1994. His calls for reinforcements to help his UN force stop the genocide there were rejected by the security council. He was discharged from the Canadian army in 2000 suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. He tried to take his life several times but recovered and became a prominent human rights advocate.
    Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007,,2170672,00.html
  12. "The Unamid force is an experimental hybrid, and the division of responsibilities between the UN and AU is as yet vague."

    "African states have said they will provide the bulk of the 20,000 soldiers and 6,000 police."

    Add to this a Nigerian force commander and you have a recipe for total disaster. Presumably British technical assistance will involve the RAF evacuating any non-African contingent involved when the whole thing inevitably collapses in bloody chaos.
  13. Sounds like a return to the stirling work done by UN forces in Rwanda. Personally I don't like watching machete wielding nutters comminting genecide. I like even less if I had a Bn behind me and still weren't allowed to do anything.
  14. Fair enough. No arguing with that, I would still rather see UK tax money being spent to improve the UK. If our government wishes to assist in making African countries a better place to live then I would rather that we stop paying farmers to not produce food and use that exact same money to reward them for delivering those goods and perhaps we could donate the excess to Africa.

    Whilst I agree that £8 spent on a dirt poor African will do more good than that same amount spent on a lifestyle choice dole recipient there are other things that money could be spent on. Improving public transport, the NHS, the police, armed forces, a pensioners lot, orphans welfare in the UK is what I want my tax money spent on. I think that it is wrong for government to take my money (that could be spent on my kids) and use it for handouts around the globe.

    Sorry for ranting but I am more than a tad anoyed with the way the UK is going and feel powerless to actually do anything about it.
  15. If you can lay your hands on a copy I'd highly recommend Roméo Dallaire's memoir called Shake Hands with the Devil. It's not exactly easy reading obviously because of the topic but it's an incredibly good book.