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This paper sets out to discuss explicitly the war crisis in Darfur and whether Canadian troops should be sent to the war-torn region. The Darfur crisis is ongoing guerilla warfare in Sudan. The issue of contention has been poor treatment of the black Christian Africans in the south by the Arab northerners. This led the southerners to form militia namely the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and Justice and equality movement (JEM) in order to combat oppression and genocide attacks carried out by the mainstream Sudan military forces and the police in conjunction with the Janjaweed. The government sponsors the Janjaweed in an effort to wipe out the Southerners in joint combat.
In 2005 officials at the U.S. Department of estimated 63,000 to 146,000 dead. The United Nations estimates show that over 300000 people have been displaced both internally and to neighboring nations like Kenya. In 2007, The displacement monitoring centre estimated Kalma camp was holding over 100000 refugees while Kakuma in Kenya held 50,000 refugees which represented 21% Kenyan refugee population This numbers are some of the largest the world over.
In February, 2010 the government of Sudan signed an agreement with the Justice and equality movement, with further pledges to further pursue peace. The JEM, which is predominant in Darfur shall gain the most in the talks could to a semi-autonomous state similar to South Sudan. However, these talks are currently disrupted after the Sudanese government launched air strikes and raids on a village. This was a violation of the agreement and JEM has boycotted the talks pending further action. The conflict in war-torn Sudan is predominantly between Arab Muslim North and the Christian black South. This is not only a racial supremacy struggle where the Southerners are fighting against being viewed as slaves and the Arabs as the masters but also touches on religion
The fact that Libya, which is predominantly Muslim lies to the North and asserts Muslim Bedouin origins does not help matters for the farming Negroes in the South. The government has the slave-master ideology to recruit Arabs into fighting and at best refers to the Southerners as tribes-men and the Northerners as the people. Arab descendants in Sudan view themselves as civilizers and the Negroes as Abid meaning slaves. The Arab Gathering, a shady Nazi-type acknowledged by the government preaches Arab supremacy and a Sudan free of non-Arabs. This process of "cleansing" involves killing through air raids and on ground militia who kill, rape and commit all sort of atrocities. The Guardian issue of 20 Jul, 2004 clearly shows the involvement of Arab women in cases affecting rape on Non-Arabs. In 2005 a report issued by the U.S state department on Human Rights Practices indicates that the government was fully behind the Janjaweed militia and sponsored them to carry out the attacks such as arson, genocide ,rape and disfigurement.This also included racial epithets such as branding of locals as Zurga meaning Black and abid which implies slave. Although most claims say that the war has been waged on Christians, Muslim Southerners have also been affected. It is not entirely due to religuion and race but also due to land disputes between livestock herders and the farmers from the South.
International action to the Darfur crisis began in 2003 after advocacy by Non-Governmental organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Crisis Group. When the U.N Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapilla named Darfur "world's greatest humanitarian crisis" in March 2004, it immediately brought attention to the plight of the Southerners, Organizations such as Genocide Intervention Network, and the Save Darfur Network camped in Darfur and in an effort to seek a solution, they involved United States Congress and President on this issue. Other advocates of the situation include but not limited to: Sudan scholar Eric Reeves, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and Enough Project founder Prendergast John.
In March 2005, the situation in Darfur had worsened to a point where the Security Council referred the issue to the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court, Moreno Ocampo. Consequently, arrest warrants were issued to former Minister of State for the Interior, Ahmad Auronand and a Janjaweed leader, Ali Kushayb for war crimes and genocide. In 2008, the Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, was charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and murder.. Some analysts have been very critical of this and have said that it harms the peace process.
On 16 October 2006, an organization called Minority Groups Watch published a critical report claiming the great powers and U.N could have solved the situation had they sufficient funds and equipment. Human Rights First, an organization operating in Darfur claimed that 90% of the light weapons that were in use in Sudan are from China. However, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute claims that 87 per cent of the weapons used were made in Russia and only 8 per cent from China. China has been accused of supplying arms in an attempt to access the vast oil resources in the region.
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The violence in Darfur has also spread across the border into Chad. The government in Chad has been accusing the Janjaweed of carrying out attacks in eastern Chad. This has led to strained relations between the two countries. This has forced aid workers to be evacuated in this area due to high tension levels. There has been an overall displacement of 100,000 Chadians in this zone.
It is in view of this volatile situation in Darfur that I shall review whether the Canadian government should send troops to Darfur. Military intervention cannot entirely solve Darfur's war on its own. There is a need for political and aid solutions in order to end the war and bring peace to these region which has had some of the world's leading displacement figures which stand at over three million. Canada has already shown commitment to establishing peace by donating aid to this state through the African Union. Political lobbying and continuous pressure should be applied to quicken the pace at which peace is attained. Foreign policies and diplomatic envoys should also be employed to end the conflict. Over the past decade, the global human conflict resolution has shifted focus from solely relying on militaristic peacekeeping to encompass a holistic approach to peace enhancement, which focus on political and social and economic ways to solve conflicts such as the one in Darfur, which should focus on long-term goals such as creating a democratic state and upholding human rights while enhancing economic development.
Due to a shortage of peacekeepers, Canadian forces would be highly appreciated in Darfur even if the host nation might not be welcoming. Interposing, which is one of Canada's pride involves arbitration between warring parties. Although budget cuts have could disable this mission, Canada should take this chance to enable its troops gain experience in an Africanized setting while at the same time, boosting its image as a world arbitrator. In war-torn Darfur interposing will be a chief duty for the military, which shall establish and occupy buffer zones between hostile forces, helping to maintain and monitor the ceasefire agreement. This shall put the talks between the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality movement peace talks back on track. Although the mission is highly risky due to sudden attacks both on air and on ground and also due to poor ground orientation, the sheer essence of deploying peacekeepers could be underscored if troops are not mobilized in such a needy area. In addition to ratifying that both parties are compliant with the ceasefire agreements, peacekeeping forces shall oversee progress of the entire process and enable disarmament, demobilization and disarmament of both parties if the talks are successful which will gain Canada prestige and nobility. Canadian peacekeepers, if deployed, will go a long way in helping in administration of humanitarian aid and peace restoration which have been neglected due to insufficient African Union troops. Most importantly, these troops could help in attaining permanent peace situation and aid in post-war reconstruction in the war ravaged.
Genocide and human rights violation cases have been on the rise in Darfur. If Canadian troops are deployed, they will enforce peace by stopping the aggressor as was the case in Kuwait. International keeping standards allow usage of force to stop aggression but only in self-defense or to uphold human rights. The troops will boost existing forces in order to put an end to cases of rape, murder and racial abuse. The buffer zone shall prevent any attacks from either side hence accelerating and enforcing the peace accord. This, if implemented all the credit will go to Canada. The Arab North has long trampled on the rights of the Non-Arabs. Though the troops might suffer heavy attacks, any peacekeeping force is normally stronger than both warring parties. The Canadian forces should also be mobilized, with consent from both parties, to stop violence in the short-term hence enforcing peace in the long-term.
Though this will reflect positively on the great powers need to end the conflict, deployed troops might have to contend with budget cuts and lesser funds due to the World economic recession and a very expensive parallel program in Afghanistan. The fact that the government of Sudan has in the past expelled over 13 aid institutions might be an indication that the Sudanese government might be unwilling to host them. Canadian troops shall also face multiple difficulties including few roads and plane runways in a background they are poorly conversant with. This might hinder the effectiveness of their mission. The Sudanese government has also launched an offensive and instituted bureaucratic delays and stonewalling. Sending troops to an active conflict might also be voted down by the Canadian Parliament.
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