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How to Get the UN/AU Hybrid Force Deployed to Darfur

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Abstract:

Now that the United Nations Security Council has authorized a UN/AU hybrid peacekeeping force for Darfur, problem solved, right?

Not by a long shot. Serious obstacles threaten to derail the rapid deployment of this protection force, called UNAMID. The brutal and deplorable September 29 attack on African Union peacekeepers is a stark reminder of the threats that UNAMID—an important component of the overall solution—faces in Darfur. This attack, and the continued fracturing of Darfur’s rebel groups, also severely diminishes the prospects for success at peace talks set to begin in Libya later this month. Nonetheless, assertive diplomacy, cooperation and coordination from international donors, and the judicious use of targeted pressures can overcome the obstacles, get the force on the ground, and set the stage for the only thing that can bring an end to Darfur’s long nightmare—a viable peace process.

The UN, in consultation with the AU, is moving quickly to amass and deploy UNAMID’s 26,000 military personnel and civilian police, attain sophisticated military hardware, and assemble facilities and infrastructure in the harsh, isolated terrain of Darfur.