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March 09, 2006
Flying without wings

Things aren't going well in Darfur.

On Friday the African Union faces the most difficult decision of its short three year history.

Created with the idea of "African solutions for African problems" at its heart, it must decide whether to handover its first major peacekeeping operation to the United Nations.

Seven thousand AU troops are deployed in Darfur but they have failed to end a conflict that has so far killed more than 100,000 people and left millions in overcrowded camps.

I don't think anyone could fail to applaud their desire to create their own solutions for their own problems, but I don't think 7000 troops ever had a chance of squashing this war. It's not just Darfur. The AU itself is fighting for survival.

Some of the fighters make it clear they think of this as a "holy war." This is not a position people are inclined to back down from. It's not a logical, rational place from which to operate.

Maj Gen Collins Ihekire is the Nigerian Force Commander of the AU in Darfur.

"If someone hasn't got wings and you say he has failed to fly - I don't think you can call that failure," he said when asked how he assessed then achievements of the AU mission.

Once again I offer no solutions. Just concern.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:01 PM