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Vol 48 No 13

Published 22nd June 2007


Sudan

At the barrel of a gun

International pressure has at last forced Khartoum to agree to a UN-backed protection force in Darfur but the struggle won't stop there

A mixture of scepticism and hope greets Khartoum's claims that it has unconditionally accepted that around 20,000 peacekeepers will be deployed in Darfur by 2008. Interested governments and United Nations' bodies have ratcheted up the pressure; United States' sanctions on 29 May and a UN Security Council visit on 17 June both helped. Yet within hours of accepting a 'hybrid' peacekeeping force for Darfur at a meeting with the African Union (AU) and UN in Addis Ababa on 11-12 June, Khartoum officials retreated into the doublespeak and delaying tactics which have allowed them to block an effective protection force in Darfur for the past three years.

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