QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
JERRY FOWLER: I want to turn now, unless someone wants to respond to that, to questions from the audience. I am sure there are a lot of people here who have many different questions.
QUESTION: The first thing I wanted to say was just sort of on what Victoria and Mike both touched upon. I think it is useful context when we are talking about this. Victoria noted that an intervention along the lines of the responsibility to protect talks about an intervention, it is not peacekeeping. Mike mentioned that the Government of Sudan is dictating the terms of a lot of what is happening in terms of what they will accept.
I am just pointing out that one of the political contexts that we have to think about with Darfur is that doing R to P, responsibility to protect and intervention, means going to war with Sudan.
The other day, a report came out from the National Defense University that suggests that the high tech weaponry that the west, primarily the United States, has at its disposal can be utilized to enable African forces to better respond to situations like Darfur, and I put to the panel, whoever would want to tackle that. It is not exactly a solution to the current situation, but it goes to some of what this capacity that has been talked about by a couple of the panel members.
VICTORIA HOLT: I have not seen the report, but I will just say that the tension you are talking about is not reliant on the military capacity and forces. The African Union faces a difficult problem when, if their mission is deployed with the consent of the Government of Sudan, and while Charlie points out that there is a lot that can be done, particularly as confidence grows, to protect civilians, say, if a village was being overrun or an IDP camp faced attacks within it. There is a tension there between being too forward leaning and interpretations of the mandate.
How do we handle proactive efforts to protect civilians, whether it is in a village or other parts of Darfur, where the Janjaweed may still be operating?
CHARLES SNYDER: I have seen the National Defense University report and they really worked hard on it and it is great work. I think, however, that we can learn from the Iraq. In Iraq, I think we all now know that we did not have sufficient combat power on the ground. We deferred instead to a technological approach with precision weapons. But after a point, you need presence. There is absolutely no substitute for spanning out and being there physically, and the phrase we have all heard, “Boots on the ground.” There is no substitute for it.
There are a lot of capabilities that come with high tech approaches and they have their place. I am not dismissing the role in Darfur at all, but I will say that the first thing that one must have here, is lots of information technologies that are all interlinked with one another, tremendous distribution of information amongst all of the actors on the good side, all these sorts of things, attack helicopters and all the weaponry and all the information technology, et cetera. That is a second concern after boots on the ground.
With regard to the marriage of the technologies, in the final report that is done (I think everyone can get it on line), there are a lot of challenges with trying to inject high technologies right now into the militaries that we have in Africa to execute. We do know that technology will work if it is matched with capable executors. Unfortunately, I spend some time with these private military companies who have had tremendous success in places like Sierra Leone with all the little things, I am putting mostly aside, but if you just look at the technological first being outnumbered by hundreds to one, they will still turn the tide in a way to deter in accordance with their will.
In summary, Darfur needs boots on the ground. Technology has its place, but maybe in this case, the important thing is physical presence.
SARAH MARTIN: I would just like to add that more important in my belief, than just presence is the actual coordination. What we see time and time again are humanitarian agencies pointing out to the peacekeepers and military that they have heard that this was going to happen. These people are at risk. Women are going out to collect firewood and they are being attacked, and this is not considered a military priority. When you are talking about providing protection for civilians, the civilians need to be more closely coordinated and involved with the planning of the missions, and there needs to be a much closer link between the military and the humanitarian agencies.
Humanitarian agencies are often quite reluctant to go on patrol or be surrounded by the military because of the need to maintain a humanitarian space, but as far as really looking into what the humanitarian agencies are doing while we are planning; you need to talk to the Internally Displaced Peoples. You need to hear what would they think if Egyptian soldiers came in or Libyan soldiers or Tunisian soldiers? Would they feel safe enough to return home? Would they trust them? This is something that we say has been missing in Darfur, that there has not been a very close reaction with the humanitarians.
QUESTION: Where is the money that is being spent coming from? I am curious where that is coming from. Secondly, in April, the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, and I was wondering if that was having any impact on the situation on the ground. Also, has there been any thinking through in terms of when the court gets around to doing its equivalent of indictments of the role of African Union forces in terms of those indictments?
QUESTION: I work with the Genocide Intervention Fund. We are conducting a non-press netted fund-raising campaign for this African Union mission. My question concerns the funding shortfall. We have seen in the last two weeks the African Union release a number of statements to the effect that they are $200 million short. How is this funding shortfall affecting the mission? I know that the United States freed up $6 million earlier this week. What are the prospects for the full funding of the mission?
QUESTION: When the conflict is resolved, are there any tentative plans for the African Union peacekeeping helping to apprehend subjects and deliver them to the International Criminal Court? What would be their role in the aftermath?
CHARLES SNYDER: I am going to answer the money questions. The first question is where is the money coming from for this horse? It is not coming from ACOTA, in a sense. Initially, we took the money, because we had the money from ACOTA and never replaced the ACOTA money in a supplemental. It is all a complicated way of saying ACOTA accounts were raided, but they have been made whole since then. So this is new peacekeeping money. It is not drawn from ACOTA. That may not be true as we go into this shortfall issue, and let me say a word about the shortfall. The highest number I have seen in the DAU’s is 200 million. The problem is that there were a large number of pledges and DAU is rightly raising a flag to the Europeans in this case, because as I pointed out earlier, we have been doing things in kind, as opposed to putting money in the till. They are a bit nervous about the current rate of flow and if it stays at this current rate, they are going to be $200 million short, which is a significant amount. It is on the order of close to 30 percent of what they need overall.
The Europeans are serious about these pledges. This is an accounting dispute, surprise, surprise, for those of you who are bureaucrats in the audience, between the African Union and the European Union as to what standard they need to use for accounting for the money. I think it will be resolved in the next month or so.
It is a crisis potentially, but nothing I am worried about now. The shortfalls, because I am talking about it from the United States perspective, is when we did the 2006 budget this force did not exist, certainly not at the size it is. In our budget for 2006, there is no line item for this. We made it clear we need about a $100 million. This is when ACOTA could be in jeopardy. If we do it within existing ceilings, everyone would have to give a little at the office, and the ACOTA has peacekeeping money, the Far East peacekeeping money and so on. There is also the chance that this will turn into new money in the sense that Congress will lift the budget ceiling to better allow us to supplement, though it is too soon to say. You are right to be concerned about this, but it is too soon to say we really have a crisis on our hands on the money side.
JERRY FOWLER: For the uninitiated in the audience, and I would have to include myself in this, ACOTA means what and the consequences of raiding ACOTA?
CHARLES SNYDER: For those of you who have been following this for a long time, this started out as the African Crisis Response Initiative. It is now called the African Contingency something and Training, and I cannot keep up. It is the peacekeeping training money and some equipping money that we already have for Africa. It was designed as a five-year program. It has been completed at the $100 million level. It is now continuing in a new form at about the same $25 million a year level. That is what ACOTA is, and raiding it is evil bureaucracies. That they are not spending any money in a country like Sudan is more important. I am going to take some of that money from there, plan to train Zambia, for instance, and suck it up to that. That is what the rating reference was.
VICTORIA HOLT: I want to emphasize Charlie’s excellent point on this, because it is not just the training program, but we have a separate account that pays for the United States share of United Nations peacekeeping operations, of which one large one is called Sudan, and which also was not originally in the 2006 budget and for which they need to recruit 10,000 peacekeepers and all the things that go with that.
One of the problems we may face is Capitol Hill making choices to add more money for the African Union and Sudan by taking money out of the money that goes to the United Nations for all the peacekeeping missions around the world. As I mentioned, 75 percent of those folks are in Africa. To the extent that we come out of here with short to-do lists. I would flag the money problem and hope that folks in the Administration would see to it that we could have a direct request for the funds, so we do not have to have one taking from another.
SARAH MARTIN: Briefly, on the International Criminal Court: the displaced people and the people that we have talked to have a tremendous amount of hope in the International Criminal Court. They have said, in the words of Samantha Powers, that they do not know where Holland is or where the Hague is, but they see this place, the Hague, as a place of justice and they want to see the war criminals there referred to the International Criminal Court. They do not trust something that might be Sudan-based. They want to see an International Criminal Court justice, and we would like to see the United States Government remove their opposition to that.
QUESTION: Let me ask you, sir, did you see enough people paying attention to that in terms of gathering requisite data to bring charges, whether they were from the United Nations or ever people monitoring, so that we can hold accountable people who have committed these violations?
SARAH MARTIN: One of the hardest things we face is getting enough human rights observers on the ground. We talk about military observers and boots on the ground, but one of the most difficult things has been for the United Nations to mobilize enough human rights observers who can go out and document this.
While I was there, I saw that the African Union forces and the human rights observers that they had were working together very well and very closely together. The only way a woman was able to get a police report stating that she had been raped -- which is the only way that she can actually get treated legally in the Sudan for rape -- was if a human rights observer accompanied her to the police station to allow her to file the report. There are not enough monitors on the ground to document these crimes, in particular, the problem of rape.
Rape is one of the most under-reported crimes in the world, and the women of Sudan are reluctant to discuss it. I would like to know how many women are involved in the African Union peacekeeping forces. This was something that was brought up to me by the African Union and guys that I talked to there. We do not have women that can go and interview these women to talk to them about being raped. I remember hearing that former Rwandan women combatants had volunteered to go to the Sudan. They said, “We know what happens to women in wartime and we want to go and stop that.” I am wondering what ever happened with that.
JOSEPH NZABAMWITA: There is a very big commitment from Rwanda because their wounds are still very fresh from the genocide, particularly the women combatants. They organized an association that has made a pressure group to actually demand their participation.
As to how far they have gone, I think this is a political issue that both the African Union and the European Union as a whole should be able to make clear their demands and ensure that they are circulated, because, if it is a company of Rwandan women, they would be assuming another mandate that would limit the force size of the Rwandan contingent. It would mean a different mission. If, for instance, we made pressure groups, I think they would play a very big role.
CHARLES SNYDER: As a footnote, I have seen a couple of these operations over the last couple of years around the continent, and still, one of my great concerns is that you just cannot get the human rights inspectors, et cetera, to go into these austere, challenging and violent environments to do their work.
JERRY FOWLER: You cannot get them because they will not go or they are not allowed to go?
CHARLES SNYDER: They are allowed to go. I think that you will find many of them that are qualified to go, but they are not too taken by the notion of going to Darfur or to any austere environment with violence and a place that lacks certain amenities.
QUESTION: I would disagree, by the way.
CHARLES SNYDER: I am talking about from the international organizations, et cetera. Advocacy organizations might go.
QUESTION: The problem with getting human rights observers has been the slowness and the bureaucracy of the United Nation’s recruitment process and its ability to deploy people. There is a very convoluted back-and-forth between the office of the High Commission for Human Rights and United Nations missions itself. That has been the bigger problem, not the lack of willing people.
CHARLES SNYDER: I have to disagree. I am sorry. I have to disagree, because I think it might be instructive to mention here, that in each of these places, I have talked to human HCR people and I have listened to why they are not there and I think I have accurately captured why they are not. Though the factors you mentioned I am sure play into it as well, I think that the other ones do too.
Here is the bottom line. Regardless of why they are not there, I think we both wish they were there in greater numbers. I think we both wish that the perpetrators were stopped. The only way we are going to reduce the violence is if we can have these very robust human rights sorts of hearings, et cetera, after these things get sorted out, after the comprehensive peace agreement is signed.
Over the years, I have developed a great concern for (especially in Africa), the fact that things are so complex that this particular piece is marginalized and not addressed with a vigor that we need to for its own reason and for the preventive purposes of future conflicts.
MICHAEL SMITH: On a minor optimistic note, the European Union is trying to do more on the police piece that is missing in this African Union force. It is not something the United States does. We do not have a national police force. The Europeans have national police forces. They are looking particularly at the issue of getting some more women included in this. The problem, which will not shock anybody in this audience, is finding a qualified woman among African forces. The truth is there are exceptions where there are large numbers women. The South Africans can produce a good number of women police with experience to go do this. The European Union is even looking at the possibility of the AUS bringing some Europeans into play for this very purpose, but then you lose something. The reason you want a policeman in the camp is so that he can touch, feel and see the people. If you are now working through two layers of translation, you are playing with fire in terms of understanding the subtleties of what you are being told. The closer we can keep the police, in particular, to Africa, even if it is only one translation as opposed to two, the better. But it is better to have the people on the ground than not, and the Europeans are looking actively at this.
QUESTION: Thank you to all the panelists for a very helpful panel, and to Jerry and the Museum for hosting ongoing discussions on the situation in Darfur. I wanted to raise two questions; the first is about phase three for the African Union mission. There was some talk at some time that maybe this would be an opportunity, phase three, for thinking about blue-hatting an African Union mission, that the African Union and the United Nations would become much more integrated and could actually be put under the United Nations. Is that still in the cards? Is it something we would want? Would it be helpful? Is it politically, practically on the table still?
I feel, myself, constantly torn between feeling that the international community has just utterly failed the people of Darfur and that in ten years we will look back, as we do on Rwanda, with just this enormous sense of guilt and regret, and feeling that while there is an expansion going on, the African Union had stepped up to a job that nobody else would do. We have reason to be a bit optimistic, at least as Charlie always tries to remind us. So I just want to ask the panelists to project ten years forward and try to say what you think the judgment on Darfur will be. Let’s take the best case scenario. Say that calm does resettle now, say that even the hopes for a peace agreement by December are fulfilled, and that maybe we are at a good point moving forward from here. Take the absolute best case scenario from where we are and try to give your projection on that.
QUESTION: In its latest policy brief that came out on the sixth of July, the International Crisis Group suggests that with an emphasis on civilian protection, the force level of the African Union needs to be increased to between 12,000 and 15,000, and that is as soon as possible, not the 12,000 in 2006. With an understanding of the planning that we are taking into making this happen, another recommendation that International Crisis Group suggests is that there should be possibly a bridging force from NATO. If the deployment is to take place, as the International Crisis Group suggests in the next 60 days, perhaps if the African Union is incapable, NATO should provide a bridging force until such a time that the African Union is capable. I just wanted to get the take of the panelists on this recommendation.
QUESTION: Charlie, you did, in fact, use the term “genocide.” I am wondering what you think about Senator John Danforth’s comments on that and what do you think of his cache on this issue?
The second question is for Joseph. I am not aware of any African leaders that have addressed the crisis as Bush did, as genocide. Are there any African leaders who call it genocide and if not, are they naive or do we know better than they do? An attachment to that is, in regard to other places where maiming and deaths are occurring, could you give some comparison of the number of deaths and people being maimed and killed in the DRC, Uganda and Ethiopia?
Last, Mike, in regard to arms, there is a divestment campaign going on across America and they are talking about the fact that investments are being used by the Government of Sudan in order to fuel the military efforts and things like that. Could address where the rebels are getting their arms from and who takes care of the SLA?
CHARLES SNYDER: Let’s take the simple one- phase three and blue hats. The problem that confronts any force like this, whether it is the African Union, the OAS, NATO, is that intervention is the end stage. You have probably heard that a thousand times in the newspapers. One of the logical end states, from the African Union point of view, just as it would be for the OAS or NATO, is to turn this over in a much more favorable environment to the United Nations. Blue hatting is, if you look at this over time and over many places, one of the obvious ways for the African Union to end this, but it is up to the African Union to come to that conclusion. It is a logical way out. They may choose another way out. It is not a live issue in the sense that it is not on the table yet. So, fortunately, we do not have to try and answer Victoria’s questions on what that does to the budget in terms of the United Nations. At some point, I suspect, that will be on the very short list of what happens to this African Union force. It will be, from a lot of people’s point of view, a zero sum game. If we are already spending 23 percent, which is the current number of the African Union budget in terms of this military force, if it winds up being a United Nations force, we wind up paying 26 or 27 percent.
It does not make a big difference to us, but it makes a huge difference politically to the African Union, and it is too soon to make a judgment on that.
Since I did get asked one direct question on the genocide and what Danforth had to say about it, I will say that I worked with Jack Danforth and Jack brought a lot to the game. One of the reasons we succeeded in this comprehensive peace agreement was Jack Danforth’s personality and what he brought to the game in terms of his legal mind and his Missouri “Show Me,” being able to challenge the Government of Khartoum to do practical things.
One of the beauties of our system is everybody is entitled to an opinion. I was inside the government, too, and I do not think, at the end of the day, the reason Powell said the word “genocide” had to do with appeasing the Christian right. I do not believe that is true. I saw Powell struggle with this question.
The longest pole in the tent was intent, literally intent, because that is one of his standards. In the Geneva Convention, before you call it genocide, you have to say that it was intentional.
We all know that this was largely Arab on African violence. So it is self-described. You and I would be hard-pressed to sort out who was who, but nonetheless, it was aimed in that direction. Clearly, the scale was such that they were trying to, in all or in part, eliminate a population. The question was, was this organized by somebody, the government, and that is what Powell sent people to find out or at least begin to find out in the Chad refugee camps by interviewing refugees, and not just governmental officials. It would not hold up if we cookie-pushers, all by ourselves, went out there and interviewed refugees and said, “We brought the American Bar Association and other experts to interview these people,” and it was enough evidence by refugees, who were in a position to describe things they could have seen like, “I saw a government officer on the ground directing this, I saw a government colonel on the ground not stopping it when he had sufficient men to do this.” They also told us incredible things, and this may go to the International Crisis Group question. I saw Vice President Tah on the ground. No, they did not. He was not there. We know where he was.
You have to go through all that as you go through the refugee accounts of these things, but at the end of the day, because we had enough people who were in a position to see officers on the ground, et cetera, Powell came up with the genocide determination. I have seen him struggle with it. I do not think it was to appease the Christian right.
Now, why did Jack Danforth get selected? Jack Danforth, in addition to being a United States Senator, happens to be an Episcopal priest, and I think one of the constituencies, and I am going to be perfectly honest, in the very beginning of this that was forcing the state to take a hard look at it was exactly that same Christian constituency, whether they call it the Christian right, the Evangelical Christian, it does not matter, that constituency. One of the things that Jack Danforth gave to us was a person who could credibly say to them, “This is not the cookie-pushers sweeping this away. I was there and they are negotiating a good deal.” To some degree, he came out of that environment. And the other piece, obviously, was the Black Caucus in the beginning said, “Something different has got to happen in Sudan. We tried this in the last administration; this containment did not work, what are you going to do about it?” That was the other driving constituency. In fairness to Jack, and he is a friend of mine, I do not buy that, but he is entitled to his opinion and he may have heard political discussions I was not a party to.
MICHAEL SMITH: I will try to take on the question about the international community and the one directed at me.
Has it failed or not if we protect ourselves for ten years? What would we say about what has happened in this past year or two? I have got to tell you I am very sensitive to what happened in Rwanda and Srebrenica and other places, but I have got to tell you, it has been outstanding. I have been overwhelmed beyond words. Let me tell you why. In Addis, the European Union began to host what they call a partners technical support group. To make a long story short, everybody who wanted to help came there in an organized way to figure out who could give what. We would line up and say at a given time what was needed. We went from strategic lift aircraft all the way down to bulletproof vests to food for 90 days for a 1,000 people.
The greatest frustration that that international community had was they just could not get enough information to act quickly enough to forestall the loss of life and destruction of homes.
I was taken by the teamwork that allowed everyone to come together and work toward that goal by each picking out what they could do best as a country and then taking that back to their countries. Now they are knowledgeable about who can do what, and the sincere desire to expeditiously address the challenges. I come away from that with an absolute endorsement of the international community, which I am slow to normally do for most things. You always want to hesitate about being so absolute in your pronouncements on something like this, because you could be wrong and embarrassed, but from what I saw, I just have to endorse it; I really do.
Now, in fact, I think we have a $200 million shortfall that the young gentleman brought up, and Charlie has addressed that. Some people pledge, but do not commit, and there is a European peace facility that has some constraints, but the bottom line is that I think that we have shined the light on Darfur and we have forestalled a greater loss of life than we would have otherwise.
I do think--and I agree with what Mr. Charlie Snyder said--that if stuff gets really bad where we need to come in and take care of business over the next few months or years, that there are going to be people willing to come in there with serious combat power to take care of business.
Now, on the small arms proliferation--where are they getting their arms from? I cannot remember what I am supposed to say out loud or not, to be honest with you. But the bottom line is even if I said it, then the countries have said they have not done it. Yes, there are small arms being proliferated, but there are other even larger ones and ammunition, et cetera. The African Union knows where it is all coming from and they are definitely twisting the arms of the countries that are involved and they have had talks with their people; they are on top of it. It is part of a much larger problem and the African Union does not even know a lot of what you would hope they would know just in this issue, nor do regions in West Africa, Southern Africa, et cetera. This is just a big problem. Some people say small arms proliferation is the Weapons of Mass Destruction of Africa. The African Union is aware, but it is a larger problem and there are people working on it. I hope it gets better.
JERRY FOWLER: Does anyone have another view on that? Is this another failure or has this been something that is a little bit hopeful and optimistic?
SARAH MARTIN: I do. I always have an opinion. I think about this a lot, because I also travel to countries that are even more forgotten than Darfur--to the Congo, where I just returned from, to Liberia, to Haiti, which is right in our own hemisphere--and do I feel like are we doing enough for Darfur? No, but I still struggle with what more we can do, which is a question I think we all struggle with.
We are doing the best we can in our own capacities. But something I will say that is maybe a little controversial is that if all the people in this audience talked to people who gave money for the tsunami relief and took that kind of energy and put it toward looking at Darfur, we would do better. A lot of the humanitarian agencies and the operational agencies say that if there is more money and outcry on Darfur, you will get better quality people there, you will get more people, it will be easier to recruit and they will have more people on the ground. So, in ten years, how will we feel? I think we still feel guilty and that we did not do enough.
VICTORIA HOLT: First, the United Nations is likely--I would expect--to take over at some point in Sudan, because it brings to the table what is called peace-building and all the follow-up after peacekeeping. Sometimes the easier part is getting troops on the ground and the harder part is what happens after they have intervened.
On success or failure, I respect Michael immensely, and I do not disagree with a thing he said, and I think, in some sense, Darfur is an amazing success of collaboration, coordination, awareness. But even with all that, you can still see failure and the numbers of people who have died and been displaced would horrify anybody. So on that level, no one embraces that as success.
To echo what Sarah said, I think our problem is that our system of peace operations is not designed to succeed. We do not have the capacity basically required to make every one of these missions successful.
They are put together with spit, whistle, good intentions, brilliant people, and some good capacity, and they succeed much more than one would expect and we are getting better, but that is the long pole.
JOSEPH NZABAMWITA: First and foremost, ten years from today, I think the world is going to judge us and say that we failed. Simple.
Second, on the issue of not defining genocide as genocide, I think here we are engaged in what I should call hair-splitting. Whether the 180,000 or 200,000 people who have died in Darfur should be qualified as genocide, is not as important as asking: why should they die? Do we wait for 180,000 people to die before we call it genocide?
In 1994, when genocide was taking place in Rwanda, there was a very good academic debate as to whether it was genocide or not among academicians, bureaucrats and others. I do not think that this is what is most important.
The United Nations report did not come to the conclusion that it was genocide, but what is important is that these are atrocity crimes and the atrocity crimes should be stopped. People should be persecuted. They should be stopped. We should not engage in debating whether it is genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes. These are all atrocity crimes.
Referring to the people dying in DRC, yes, these are the vestiges of the genocide. Rwanda has pushed this to the wall, but these people are genocidal. They need to be taken care of without kid’s gloves. You have got a very big United Nations force. What is it doing? I do not know.
JERRY FOWLER: We are holding a program on Congo in a couple of weeks. Obviously, it is a very important and complex issue. It is, in some ways, a consequence of the genocide in Rwanda and then, of course, there is a lot of controversy, as well, about the role of the Rwandan Government in Eastern Congo. We will be dealing with a lot of those issues on August 2.
I should say the report that was referred to earlier by Peter Gantz is called “Learning from Darfur: Building a Net Capable African Force to Stop Mass Killing.” It was published by the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, earlier this week, and one of the authors is Cliff Burnath.
CLIFF BURNATH: I am Cliff Burnath. I am with National Defense University. I am not here to talk about the report, but the report does focus on one question that does not get focused on enough, and it is the question that I want to ask the panel. When a mass killing situation happens and we wait two or three years to get a peacekeeping force on the ground and people are dying over an extended period of time, have we addressed the problem?
Don’t we need a force that is capable of going in, not under a Chapter 6 Mandate, not under a Chapter 7 Mandate, but that can go in and intervene forcibly to stop the killing or at least to help prevent the killing until peacekeepers get on the ground and put that presence on the ground that you talked about, Mike. Until that happens, you need something smaller, faster, lighter that can go in there and do it. Since the African Union has that mandate now, as you mentioned, it does not have the will, it does not have the means, which is a lot of the reason why it does not have the will. What can the rest of the world do to help give it the means so that they have the will to intervene successfully until peacekeepers get on the ground?
QUESTION: You mentioned a number of different problems that the African Union faces: no capabilities to gather intelligence, logistics problems, and things like that. I wonder if you have any suggestions on how those might be solved.
Alongside of that is, even with the large presence on the ground and if some of those issues are resolved, how are we going to get past the issues of the Government of Sudan restricting the movement of the African Union, restricting fuel supply, not allowing the helicopters to fly, things that I experienced when we were on the ground?
Mr. Snyder, you mentioned the African Union confronting the Janjaweed or the Government of Sudan troops or whoever it may be. Do you have an example of when that has already happened or when in the near future it may happen, because I saw no evidence of that on the ground when I was standing there with troops who had the capability to stop killing? There was no one stopping the killing, even though they had the means to do it. I was just wondering if you might have a projection for when that may happen.
Is the root cause of the problem in Darfur and the greater problem in Sudan -- the overall cause of all of these conflicts -- being looked at? I am talking about the problem of the under-development of the African areas by the Arab Government.
QUESTION: I am writing a book about the Cambodian genocide. One of the problems there, which was in 1978, was the firewood rape problem and since then there has been a firewood rape problem in other conflicts. Refugee camps are traditionally viewed as human resource depots for conscripts, rape victims, recycled humanitarian, black market goods, and any number of other bad things for the combatants in these zones. Is the African Union monitoring the possible exploitation of these camps in these other ways? Is there is any system for protecting a camp from conscription raids or bombing or any other kind of war activity?
QUESTION: Part of my work is to look at the local capacity for the community of the killing, but also to look at capacity for peace. The beauty of all our traditions is to keep the memory of any dictators in our life. I did not see any need of people moving from north to south for humanitarian or human rights purposes, to help the community on all the issues. I think that the local population knows who killed, where and whom. They keep that. If you put them together, they will tell.
QUESTION: My question regards either fact or rumor of the Administration’s cooperation with Sudanese officials on intelligence and how that might hinder any comprehensive long-term peace goals or any other operations in Sudan and Darfur.
JERRY FOWLER: Well, you guys have just put on the table enough things for a whole other two hours, but we have got really about four minutes.
I would like to keep on the table the suggestion that was made by Kevin about the recent International Crisis Group report, the burden of which was 12 or 15,000 troops are needed within the next 60 days, not within the next six or seven months, and if that cannot be done, then a NATO bridging force should be on the ground.
CHARLES SNYDER: On the last question on the intelligence cooperation interfering. You have got to remember the genesis of the change in the Sudan policy. We confronted the Khartoum Government with kind of the lady or the tiger saying that this was a different administration, we would do a hell of a lot more than take out one aspirin factory if you did not get yourself right on the terrorist issue. That same conversation, however, included the second point, which was the Clinton Administration’s drive for containment, the good neighbor policy. We had to hear from the neighbors that you were no longer supporting the LRA, you were no longer supporting the Islamic Jihad, et cetera, and the third piece was just peace in Sudan. From the beginning, the counter-terrorism thing was on the table, but it was always listed as a separate item.
Before 9/11, they went from an F to a C grade. They were giving us some stuff. After 9/11, they got religion and I would say by, within that year, they were up to a B grade, where they turned over serious information that led to productive results, particularly in the accounting arena and how the funds were moving. More recently, they have moved all the way up to an A grade, in my opinion. Americans have not died in some places in the Middle East because of what we got from them. They did not have to give this to us. We did not know they had it.
It is different, but we faced this dilemma in the comprehensive peace agreement. We had a major victory for American diplomacy. We knew that we were going to get to the end game, but we were starting to face the problem with Darfur. The decision we made then is the same one we would make strictly on counter-terrorism. We were the ones that started complaining and shining a spotlight on the trouble in Darfur. The counter-terrorism thing, though important to us, will not stop us from saying what we need to say on Darfur, in general. It is a false premise.
You can also make the case that since the leader of the intelligence service is in a basket, he could very well be replaced. To the degree it is a focus of individuals, he may very well be one of the people that is replaced. For all we know, he may be one of the people that winds up being indicted before this is all over. I do not want to jump to conclusions about that, but that is the easiest question that was on the table.
Should we put people on the ground right now via NATO? It would take NATO more than 60 days to debate doing this. That is the simple truth of the matter, and I am into practical solutions. The African Union stood up; we can help the African Union do this. NATO reluctantly, however, got into this game and is now committed in a way it was not before, and it is helping it work.
Do I think the number 12,000 would be better than 7,000? Not if I wind up having to explain to people that give me the money why they are not meeting the number, and I already told you I see their capacity right now in the 77 to 7,900 range. If this works, we can then ramp up to 12,000. Trying to get to 12,000 from the African Union right now will not work because of capacity problems, and it is capacity problems that would confront anybody. You have to have the infrastructure, and we are kind of in an awful place in terms of the end of the earth, desert area with no water, roads that do not work, and no major airfields. It is tough for a modern force to sustain itself there. You do have a differential base at Abu Sayyaf and some of the stuff that we are providing the African Union in terms of intelligence as a result of the French presence in the area. We are doing some things on that score.
In a perfect world, if NATO could do it, we might have made a different choice. They just would not do it, not in practical terms, which also goes to the first question that somebody asked of why we not have this standing force ready to intervene. The question is, intervene on behalf of whom and with whose commitment. It is the constant dilemma that we face. If we say we act in the name of the world, then we are stuck with going through the United Nations, and if we took this to the United Nations Security Council, and we have, we are blocked constantly by Chinese, Russian and other vetoes on different points. This is not a simple game and if we had this force, we would have a brand new frustration. There it sits and we still cannot get through a now expanded United Nations Security Council the right to act. We have to fix the United Nations problem, as well as fix the force problem. Doing one without the other leaves me with the question of under whose mandate am I sending men into combat? When I am sending a guy with a gun, the presumption has to be I want him to use that gun.
So the questions we always have to answer are, is this going to make it better or worse? What is the most effective use of force that will result in control of that violence, not necessarily, in every case, the most heavily armed foreigner? In many cases, it is somebody closer to the problem. When we intervene in these days, in modern times, post-World War II, in Latin America, we always intervene with the OAS. Why? That is how the community of the Americas says we set standards; we always bring them with us.
Do we bully them? Sure. The African Union is at the beginning stage of that kind of development. They have the right answer and if we can make the right answer work and build capacity, which is the way we should do it.
On the question of has this African Union force ever actually done something, the Rwandans actually, in response to intelligence, moved the force out ahead of time and actually engaged bandits as a result of some intelligence they got. Can I sit here and say it was a Janjaweed unit under Khartoum’s control? No, but they engaged somebody and they engaged it as a result of intelligence they got. Previous to this, the government threw us a bone one time when Jack Danforth was beating them up about Darfur when he was up at the United Nations, and a government unit actually confronted a Janjaweed unit. They confronted that particular unit because it was not responding to their instructions, but the government acted, in one case, if we are using that as positive proof that something would happen, engaged.
The truth is that the situation on the ground is getting better. I would submit to you, however slowly, and I think it is painfully slowly, it is moving in the right direction. Jan Pronk, to some degree, is my conscience on this. We have absolutely no control over them and he would tell you it is moving in the right direction. He thinks the African Union force is doing the right thing. There are a few other incidents that are vague and do not meet the test of your question.
SARAH MARTIN: One of the most impressive things I saw when I was in Darfur was when I went to a small town called Kebkabiya. There was an IDP camp there and hardly any international presence whatsoever. There was one Irish NGO there. The people of the camp had put together a notebook and documented every time they saw any human rights violation and what had happened to them; documenting it themselves. I wholeheartedly agree with what Fidel is saying. The people of Sudan are capable of speaking for themselves and witnessing for themselves, but what the west and the north can do to help is to help amplify this voice.
On the firewood rape problem, one of the things that I think is often kind of overlooked when we look at the firewood rape problem is that women do not just leave the camps to gather firewood. They still have to maintain a livelihood. Sometimes they gather firewood to sell in the market so they can get the money to take care of the needs for themselves. I think we often look at this as too simplistic for what it is. Refugees in IDP camps are people who have lives and have their own ideas and ways of how they need to lead their lives. When we think we have all the solutions and the answers for them, without talking to them and figuring out what they need, we do them a serious disservice.
MICHAEL SMITH: Brian, I saw you a couple months ago. I have to tell you, the main thing on overcoming the problems to the deployment that Charlie said we have learned from, is that there are a lot of reasons for those problems that I would like to share with you. I am sorry, we do not have time to go into it today, but there are a myriad of things that one must do with the partners, the international community, the African Union, and the countries in the African Union. There are a couple of things you have to do to approach this whole thing holistically, and I know that the United States’ global peace operation initiative is seeking to do that. You hit the initial problems. They were the enablers, the accommodations, the visa problems, the logistical problems, et cetera. There are ways to address all of those, but not enough time here to talk about each one.
How to get past the Government of Sudan issues? I do not know. Charlie talked about some of the calculus behind the scenes; it is not only just that government, it is other governments that do not want to be in the same position later when you do things to their sovereignty, and they are voting a certain way, so it all is in the mix. So, I do not know.
With regard to the refugee camps, we spent about a day and a half or two days just identifying all the bad things that go on in refugee camps and how we can guard against them. The bottom line was that we did not have enough people to do anything, because at that time, it was less than a 1,000. It was less than probably 800 at that time, people throughout all of Darfur from AMIS, the African mission.
All I care about is accountability, and the rebels, if they know they are accountable, I have talked to so many of them, they think that certain powers--whether it is France, the United Kingdom, and the United States--are looking at them all the time. I would like for them to keep thinking that. I would like for them to feel accountable for everything they do. I just hope we can hold the people accountable for what they have done.
JOSEPH NZABAMWITA: On Angela’s question about how to protect the IDP camps and stopping all the crimes and other atrocities that are taking place there. I believe in aggressive patrolling, aggressive implementing of the tasks that the African Union has been given, aggressively implementing the mandate, even if it is not the best mandate. If we can aggressively implement the mandate, it is bound to make a difference.
At the same time, I would like to also emphasize the initial collecting of intelligence. The troops on the ground can collect human intelligence, if we can get the support of technical intelligence, military intelligence, simple intelligence, and other assets that will help from our collaborators.
Most important is collaboration and cooperation. There is a need to make a very concerted effort in collaborating to ensure that we make a difference. This should be aimed at reaching a political settlement because our presence and the presence of the African Union in Darfur do not solve the problems. The problems should have a political solution. The Government of Sudan should be held accountable, and all the parties should have a comprehensive way of addressing the problems such that the suffering of people in Darfur can be alleviated.
VICTORIA HOLT: I think my colleagues have addressed all the substantive questions really well. So I will just add a thought on the whole process. Many of you appear to be fairly young, and perhaps you are students, and I would suggest that these are fairly new issues. You do not remember the peacekeeping operations shop at the United Nations that was created in 1992. Most of these missions did not even exist in the form we are looking at since the end of the Cold War, and we have only seen Chapter 7 operations being run by international organizations pretty much since 1999 on.
If you are even thinking that this interests you, I would encourage you--it is a small town of people who work on these issues--to join the military or work at the State Department, be an advocate for Refugees International or work for your government, or be a protestor in the street. I would encourage you to get involved, because these questions need answering, and then you can sit on a panel and answer these hard questions.
JERRY FOWLER: With that, before I thank the panelists, I want to say that next week Brian Steidle is going to speak here on Wednesday, July 27, at 3:30. He will be talking in more detail about his experiences with an African Union monitoring team and a recent trip that he took to Chad where he met refugees. That is next Wednesday, July 27, at 3:30.
I would like to thank all of you for coming and ask you to join me in thanking our panelists.