Thursday, December 15, 2005
It is becoming increasingly accepted that the current African Union force on the ground in Darfur lacks the size, mandate and logistical support to protect civilians from worsening violence. What is the status of the AU force today? What are the chances of increasing its numbers or strengthening its mandate? What options are available to augment the AU mission? Sally Chin, from Refugees International, provides an overview of the current status of and difficulties facing the African Union force. She then offers a range of recommendations for how to further support the African Union’s capacity to protect civilians at risk in Darfur. Claudia Mota Pinto reviews the ways that the European Union has provided support for the AU force and details some discussion within the EU about the force. Finally, Chris Padilla explains the importance of continued US support for the force and the US government’s commitment to this force. He emphasizes the need for a dual approach, focusing both on a military force on the ground and a strong political solution.