No wonder UNAMID has a troop shortage problem

I listened to a very interesting debate on the BBC yesterday evening. It was about Darfur – and the panel was getting really heated over who was to blame. (“Now is not the time to be trading accusations,” Sam Ibok, head of the AU negotiation team for Darfur, told me the other day – but that would make for really dull television!)

One very interesting thing was mentioned during the debate, which, I hate to admit, I was not previously aware of. My must now confirm whether this is true. One guy on the panel said that part of the reason for the dismal number of peacekeeping troops is a limit imposed by the UN on the number of troops neighbouring countries can send. Egypt has just given 1,200, but apparently would have been able and willing to send 3,000. The rationale here does make a sort of sense – that neighbouring countries tend to have a particular political interest in countries that they border and therefore are not always impartial.

When I heard this point, I thought to myself: ah-ha, no wonder that UNAMID can’t find all the ground troops that it needs.

On the one hand, you have a government in Khartoum that is insisting all ground troops come from African nations.

And on the other hand, you have this UN limitation for the number of troops that neighbouring countries can send.

Well, half of Africa borders the Sudan! (I wrote this statement looking for the hyperbole, but then to be accurate decided to get a map of Africa out to look at exactly which countries border Sudan. Okay, it may not be quite half of Africa, but it really is not far away.)

I have just written an article on the problems that UNAMID faces at the moment, which you can check out here.


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One Response to “No wonder UNAMID has a troop shortage problem”

  1. brelarow Says:

    An interesting point on why the UN cut back the amount of troops from neighboring countries, but you would think they would have some loop hole in situations like this were outside forces can not be sent.

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