NAIROBI, Kenya — Three years after the African Union began planning to establish a robust African Standby Force for peacekeeping missions, progress continues despite funding challenges and the reality check of a difficult AU peacekeeping mission in Sudan. The AU peacekeeping mission deployed in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region has failed to prevent violence against civilians, and that conflict has now spread into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. The dilemma facing Gen. Luke Afrazi, the Nigerian commander of African peacekeepers in Darfur, highlights the resource demands placed on peacekeeping missions. Afrazi has watched from the sidelines as Sudanese militias, [...]
Things just got worse for Halima, a displaced woman I found nursing burns from a militia attack in Darfur six months ago. Security is at a premium for war-scarred Halima and tens of thousands of other refugees hunkering down in squalid camps studded across war-torn Darfur in western Sudan. Just days after the African Union extended its limp mandate in the blood-soaked region unil mid-2007, its poorly equipped troops — deployed to protect Halima and others — are now running scared. They could be attacked anytime by Khartoum-sponsored Arab militias, the “Janjaweed,” or bands of quicksilver rebels, the other side [...]
CARTAGENA, Colombia — Every day, around 860 people are internally displaced in Colombia. In the last 10 months, over 11,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, according to The Consultancy for Human Rights and Displacement (Codhes), a Colombian NGO that monitors displacement. There are glaring discrepancies between government and NGO displacement figures. But with an estimated 2 to 3.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), Colombia is home to the highest number of IDPs in the western hemisphere and has the second largest displaced population in the world, after Sudan. The crisis is a forgotten emergency that receives scant [...]
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