Darfur Peace Agreement Failing as Security Deteriorates

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The hope generated by the signing of the May 5 Darfur Peace Agreement has been shattered, replaced by an
ever-growing sense of despair about the prospects for gaining peace. Only one
of the rebel groups, a faction of the Sudan Liberation Army led by Minni Minnawi,
has signed on. The other two major rebel armies refused to sign, as the deal does
not address the root causes of the war, call for rebel forces to be integrated
into security measures throughout Sudan, or make plans for a victims’
fund. The absence of such key players in the signing of this peace accord makes
it little more than a symbolic gesture, which has since been overshadowed by
even greater violence and insecurity in the region.
Since May 5, the fighting has actually increased; by June 20th,

the government-backed Janjaweed forces had already broken the accord with
violent attacks five times. Minnawi’s army, allied with the government’s troops
by the DPA, is now being used to fight the other rebel groups, further
complicating the conflict. The 7000 African Union troops present in Darfur do not provide adequate security, given the vast
area that they are expected to protect and the lack of international support
that they have received. The African Union has joined international calls for a
United Nations force to take over the peacekeeping efforts in Darfur, but the
government of Sudan refuses
to allow UN troops into the Darfur region, arguing that to do so would be
permitting a return to the colonization of Sudan.

As the political and security developments have worsened
over the last several months, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated as
well. Internally displaced persons camps are overcrowded and disease-ridden. Humanitarian
organizations are facing huge challenges in providing support to the 3.4
million people who are dependent on international aid. The World Food Program
approximates that it needs $648 million a year to meet the demonstrated needs,
but has recently been forced to cut its rations due to funding shortages. Lack
of funding is not the only issue however; increased threats to security have forced
some aid organizations to close aid distribution centers. With the rainy season
approaching, the logistics of providing aid will become even more difficult for
the already challenged humanitarian organizations in Darfur.

Now more than ever, the people of Darfur
need members of the international community to cry out on their behalf. To find
out what you can do, check out the Want to Help? page. [link removed 2014]

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