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Inside UNGA: Sudan and Darfur

Tim Shortley, U.S. Senior Representative for Sudan
Washington, DC
September 25, 2008

UNAMID Force Commander disembarks from UN helicopter in North Darfur, July 21, 2008. [AP]

About the Author: Tim Shortley is the new Senior Representative for Sudan at the U.S. Department of State.

I am in New York this week to attend the United National General Assembly's General Debate and to work on peace and security issues affecting Sudan, and I wanted to write a quick note. I and others who work on Sudan have been having a busy week so far. Sudan is one of the top African issues being discussed this week, given the increased insecurity we have seen over the past few weeks in Darfur and the calls for a ceasefire and political dialogue. We support the efforts of the new Joint Mediator for Darfur, Djibril Bassolé, and his newly-appointed Deputy, Azouz Ennifar, and look forward to discussing how we can assist him to bring a credible process for peace in Darfur.

We are also keen to hear what the Sudan Sanctions Committee's Panel of Experts will brief about the current status of arms in Darfur. The Panel of Experts report is expected to be passed to Security Council members by the end of September. I have also been meeting with U.N. Department of Peacekeeping officials to discuss possible U.S. assistance to increase the number of peacekeepers to be deployed to Darfur in support of the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). We would like to increase the number of peacekeepers in Darfur by 4,000 troops before the end of the year. Countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt, Rwanda and Thailand are ready to come to Darfur to play an important role in stabilizing the region. Significant time is also being spent discussing the question of the ICC indictment against Sudanese President Bashir and ways that the facts on the ground can be changed in the next four months. I will provide an update when I return from New York.


Susan in Florida writes:

@ John in Greece --

You made me smile. Your "ironic styled" comments to SNP made a good point. It would be ideal if each nation were responsible for itself. After centuries of wars and death, you would think that mankind would understand that "no man is an island" and what we do to one, will affect all. The world has grown smaller and we need to understand that we are definitely in this together.

Posted on Fri Sep 26, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Darfur is the size of France, 4000 blue helmets won't do the job.

Now you can make them more effective if their level of force protection includes on demand air support, recon , hundreds of armed UAV's and rules of engagement that befit the situation so they can act with extreme prejudice upon all who would bear arms against innocents.

But I believe it is time for a coalition of the willing to. Diplomacy is utterly exhausted and the UN "hopes" it can get a totally insufficiant number of peacekeepers in place by the end of the year. If folks really got serious Darfur would be a UN protectorate by the end of the year and the guilty would be before the bar in the Hauge.

Start with 250,000 troops, if you want a permanent solution.

There are other folks besides the US that can put boots on the ground while we supply logistics and air cover.

But if nobody's willing, what's everyone complaining about?

You get what you're willing to put up with.

Posted on Fri Sep 26, 2008

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

Thank you for this update, and I look forward to hearing more about your experiences working on the Sudan crisis. I'd be interested in knowing what are the next steps that the American people can take in helping to resolve this situation. Many student groups, churches, synagogues, NGOs, celebrities and others have worked to raise awareness of the situation in Darfur. Many have taken action to press companies to divest from Sudan. Can the public take any other steps to help change the situation? What about helping to meet any assistance needs?

I know you don't have an easy task ahead of you, but congratulate you on the new assignment, thank you for taking it on, and wish you good luck.

Posted on Thu Sep 25, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

QUOTE: We would like to increase the number of peacekeepers in Darfur by 4,000 troops before the end of the year. END QUOTE

Like Stalone said: If you aint bringing guns, you aint changing nothing.

Shame that is the mentality that has to be dealt with.

Posted on Thu Sep 25, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Tim, with all due respect for your position and efforts made by the US and other nations within the UN; I can only suggest the "experts" be fired immediately, due to lack of results on the ground.

Time I think to get on with "responsibility to protect" in a concete and kinetic way that sends an unequivocable message for any wannabe genocidal militia or government in the future.

"You don't get to do that."

Posted on Thu Sep 25, 2008

John in Greece writes:


SNP statement:
"SNP will change all these, when it comes to power.
SNP has solutions for Sudan too.
SNP has solutions for the whole Africa continent and the Alaska bears.
But, SNP needs some money to do that. Otherwise, No More help in saving the world." END OF IRONY

(Susan in Florida, pls allow me this "irony style", only once more. I can't help it. What can I do? SNP has always the solutions for the whole Globe?, but not Syria!)

Posted on Thu Sep 25, 2008

Sasha in California writes:

@ SNP in Syria....What?

Posted on Thu Sep 25, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

It all brings to mind Stargate, Enki and his ADAMU the ABZU. When this scam will be over. When this Dark City will have some lights and a real life Kurt Russel will show us who is really behind the masks.

Posted on Thu Sep 25, 2008

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