Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Call for Intervention

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan pleads for international intervention by the U.N. Security Council in Darfur in a WaPo editorial today. There has been positive developments. The African Union (AU) has sent a small sized contingent of about 5,000 troops to patrol Texas-sized territory amid peace talks between the Sudanese government and the rebel movement moderated by the AU. The UN Security Council has also referred Darfur to the International Criminal Court. Yet, enough hasn't been done.

Annan elaborates:
I wish I could report that all these efforts had borne fruit -- that Darfur was at peace and on the road to recovery. Alas, the opposite is true. People in many parts of Darfur continue to be killed, raped and driven from their homes by the thousands. The number displaced has reached 2 million, while 3 million (half the total population of Darfur) are dependent on international relief for food and other basics. Many parts of Darfur are becoming too dangerous for relief workers to reach. The peace talks are far from reaching a conclusion. And fighting now threatens to spread into neighboring Chad, which has accused Sudan of arming rebels on its territory.
While international intervention seems legitimate and warranted in Darfur, the inevitable question arises: Are we already too late?

Also, will France, Germany and Russia allow the U.S. to join and further blow holes in the norm of state sovereignty? Can intervention even occur without U.S. participation? And is the U.S. public and military forces even ready for another intervention, however different it is from Iraq?

My pessimism runs deep on these questions.