Student group will ask states to boycott certain Sudanese businesses in response to Darfur crisis
This week the African Union committed to postponing their withdrawal from the war-torn region of Darfur, western Sudan until the end of the year.
The AU had originally intended to finish their mission in Sudan on Sept. 30, and much of the international community hoped that a UN peacekeeping force would take their place.
However, after the adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution to deploy peacekeepers to Sudan in late August, the Sudanese government has refused to allow a UN force into the country, claiming it would view the operation as an invasion.
Yet, UN humanitarians working in refugee camps along the Chad-Sudan border and in make-shift camps within Darfur, welcome the continued presence of AU troops.
“We were extremely concerned about the prospect of the African Union leaving Darfur,” explained Ron Redmond, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “It’s only about 7,000 troops, they’re ill equipped, they don’t receive a lot of support from the international community, they don’t have enough resources, but basically they were all we had as humanitarians.”
The proposed UN peacekeeping force would have 22,000 better equipped, trained and supported troops, but convincing Sudan to allow peacekeepers is no easy task.
“I think the government is just afraid to have UN troops in there,” said Sudanese-born CU student, Asia Kambal. “They are afraid to have international troops, western troops in the country. Maybe they’re afraid because they think it’s going to turn into another Iraq.”
Kambal expressed that ideally she would like to see Sudan take care of its own problems, but since the government cannot fulfill its responsibility, UN or AU peacekeepers are needed to help.
But convincing the Sudanese government to allow UN peacekeepers will not be an easy task.
“What we would like to see and what High Commissioner Antonio Guterres has repeatedly said is for the international community, for governments to show some solidarity and in bringing some pressure to bear on the Sudanese government,” Redmond said.
Let Your Voice Be Heard is an on-campus group that focuses specifically on the Darfur crisis. The organization can be contacted at email@example.com and is currently organizing a conference aiming to persuade states to pass laws boycotting business with war-profiteering companies in Sudan.
Tune into NewsTeam today at 12 p.m. on Comcast Channel 63 for more on this story. The show will repeat at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.