Sudan's Position on NATO Troops Unchanged
by Hassa Ali
According to press report, US President submitted a certification to Congress on the immunity of US forces to deploy in Darfur from prosecution. This was the first time the US Administration spoke publicly about deploying US troops as part of the UNANID peacekeeping force.
That position by position by US conflicts with its previous announcements that it would not send troops to Darfur.
Amazingly US new announcement came amid government of Sudan rejection of any NATO troops.
That position is based on UNSC Resolution calling for the deployment of African troops only.
In the event of troops shortage it has been agreed that this shortage will be made for through consultation with the Sudanese government. To our knowledge, Sudan has never asked US to contribute troops to UNAMID forces. Nor will it be prepared to receive any.
Why the American Administration took that U turn arouses speculation.
We can understand US criticism of the slow deployment of forces.
But the decision to deploy its own troops in Darfur can hardly be digested.
We believe that the record of US troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan is quite telling of how these force aggravated the conflict rather than resolving it.
Furthermore, the agreement on the predominately African character of troops to be deployed in Darfur gives no room for the deployment of forces from outside the Continent, let alone from US.
Another point to take into account is America's position on the conflict in Darfur. That position has continued to be biased against the Sudanese government despite the international community knowledge that the rebels were the ones who were hampering the peace process.
As a result, it was expected that Washington would use its influence to pressure rebels to come to the negotiating table instead of sending troops to Darfur to inflame the situation.
Finally US should understand that Sudan's rejection of the deployment of NATO troops will remain unchanged.
by Hassa Ali