Peacekeepers to Darfur a Victory Shrouded in Skepticism

Hany Besada, Erica Dybenko
Published: Wednesday, 06/27/2007 12:00 am EDT

Sudan has at long last agreed to allow a combined African Union and United Nations peacekeeping force to be deployed in the country's war-torn western region of Darfur–an agreement that is being heralded as a victory for all parties involved. Darfur is no stranger to the headlines, having been plagued by an ongoing civil war since 2003. The conflict in the region has claimed the lives of more than 200,000 Sudanese, with two million others driven from their homes and forced into refugee camps, all at the hands of government soldiers and allied Arab militias–the Janjaweed, in particular. Last week's accord is regarded as a last-ditch effort by the international community to avert a complete catastrophe in Africa's largest state. In a watershed moment, following months of negotiations, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accepted a proposal of a hybrid force that could include up to 19,555 troops and 3,700 members of the police force.

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