Since this has been the case, there have been others that have called for the United Nations to deploy their Western European military forces to Darfur, as well as for the United States, whose military forces would also be seen to fall under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, to send troops that could be utilized in helping to stabilize Darfur, but so far this has not taken place (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006).
Even though the United Nations seems hesitant to involve themselves in Darfur's problems and help the refugees, a peace-keeping resolution for Darfur was unanimously passed by the United Nations on the 16th of May of this year (UN, 2006). According to this particular resolution, an assessment team must go to Sudan to prepare it for the United Nations, which will then take control of a peace-keeping mission that is already over there and is currently being led by the African Union. Originally, Sudan's government had stopped the team from entering the country, but decided that it would allow the team to come in because it is important that peace be made, and this is a way to begin that process.
The resolution that was passed by the United Nations came only two days after the African Union decided that it would allow for a transfer of authority of the 7,300 members of its peace-keeping force in Darfur at the end of September, or that the transfer could take place earlier if the United Nations felt that they were ready to take over the mission (Flint & de Wall, 2006). The United Nations Security Council is therefore urging any groups that have not yet signed the peace agreement to do that right away, and stated that it would "consider taking, including in response to a request by the African Union, strong and effective measures...against an individual or group that violates or attempts to block" the peace agreement that is now being addressed (UN, 2006).
Prior to the earthquake in the Indian Ocean that took place in 2004, the United Nations had stated that the conflict in Darfur and what was happening to the refugees over there was seen as the worst current crisis in the world on a humanitarian level. The United Nations giving any serious intervention in that conflict, however, is still unlikely because the governments that operate the key members of the United Nations Security Council feels that they are constrained, both ideologically and pragmatically, in what they can do to show a response to this particular conflict (Morrison, 2006).
Part of the reason that the United Nations does not want to become involved is that the countries that make up this governing body have their own problems as well. In Russia, the government has a weakened economy, and it had difficulties with the internal security that it needs to stop the continuing conflicts along its borders. The United States has too many of its troops already deployed to Ira q to be able to send many troops to Darfur and still have enough troops at home in case problems would arise on American soil (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). There is also difficulty with the United States becoming involved with the process, due to the fact that it has already committed to the peace process that came from the second civil war in Sudan, and it does not want there to be problems with this peace-keeping effort (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). There are also no-fly zones around Darfur, very little infrastructure when it comes to airbases in neighboring countries, and problems with airspace rights when it comes to flyovers of the Darfur area from the other neighboring countries and regions (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006).
In addition to the problems that these nations have, other countries such as France and Britain have very strong lobbies against intervening in any country that has internal strife which is not related to the interest of their own nation (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). This came about from the losses that America and France suffered in Vietnam and the losses that those countries also suffered in Algeria and Somalia. More recently, an example of this type of problem would be the lack of a peace-keeping foreign force during the Liberia and Rwanda crisis (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006).
It is likely that individuals that commit crimes against humanity and war crimes will eventually be held to be accountable for these crimes (Prunier, 2005). However, there has still been no decision made as to whether this will take place from a provisional tribunal, or form the International Criminal Court. Currently, the Bush Administration does not agree with the International Criminal Court approach and instead supports the tribunal (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006).
The conflict that is so severe in Darfur today actually started in 2003 when rebels attacked both government forces and government installations (Sudan, 2004). The government was clearly caught by surprise and did not have very any troops in the region to help ward off the attack. In addition to this problem, the government, which was Sudanese, had many Darfurian soldiers, and the government generally did not trust them during this period of time (Sudan, 2004). To respond to the problems that were seen with the rebels, the Sudanese government created a campaign whereby they held an aerial bombing attack which was also supported by ground attacks that were carried out from the Arab militia - the Janjaweed - which had been recruited from the local tribes and given weapons from the government (Sudan, 2004).
Despite the weapons that were given to them, however, the government of Sudan states that is it not connected in any way to the Janjaweed militia, and says that this militia force is full of "thieves, gangsters, and crooks" (Sudan, 2004). The conflict that is taking place in Darfur and forcing so many refugees out has a political basis overall, but it has also been seen to acquire many ethnic dimensions over the course of time (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). In this ethnic dimension, civilians have been targeted deliberately by the militia based on solely on what ethnicity they are, and the fight over land and water between the pastoralists, that are generally Arab, and the farmers, that are generally non-Arab, has also been seen to exacerbate what is already a serious problem for the country and the refugees that have been fleeing from their homes (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006).
In 2004, the neighboring country of Chad started negotiations in N'Djamena, which led to the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement of April 8th between the government of Sudan and most of the rebels (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). However, there was a splinter group of rebels that left one of the groups, and called itself the National Movement for Reform and Development (Sudan, 2004). It did not involve itself in the cease-fire talks that took place or the agreement that was reached. Since the cease-fire, however, attacks from rebels and Janjaweed individuals have continued. The African Union then created a Ceasefire Commission in order to help monitor the agreement that was reached on April 8th, but there have been mixed results on this issue (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006).
An observation team from the United Nations indicated that non-Arab villages were being singled out, while the villages that belonged to Arabs were being left untouched, and their report said that "The 23 Fur villages in the Shattaya Administrative Unit have been completely depopulated, looted and burnt to the ground (the team observed several such sites driving through the area for two days). Meanwhile, dotted alongside these charred locations are unharmed, populated and functioning Arab settlements. In some locations, the distance between a destroyed Fur village and an Arab village is less than 500 meters" (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). According to the United Nations, the Janjaweed are also implicated in the torching of dozens of mosques and the destruction and defiling of copies of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an (Refugees, 2004).
On both sides of the conflict, there are wide-spread accusations that relate to violations of human rights, including rape, looting, and mass killing where the civilian population is concerned, based on ethnicity (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). The Janjaweed are better armed, however, and it did not take them long to gain the upper hand when it came to the conflict. By spring of the year 2004, there were literally several thousand people, most of them that had come from the non-Arab population, that had been killed already, and over one million more people that had been forcibly sent from their homes (Lacey & Polgreen, 2006). This caused a serious and significant humanitarian crisis within the Darfur region.
At one point, there were over 100,000 Darfur refugees…