Global Politics

World falls short on helping Darfur

(Mentioned in the report is the fact that of the 18 helicopters that were requested, not a single one has yet to be donated. What are the helicopters necessary for?) Helicopters are vital to the success of the mission in ferrying troops around and protecting civilians. Recently a patrol was attacked and back up couldn't be brought in so about 70 peacekeepers died and 20 more seriously wounded. Helicopters could've brought additional troops and also provided tactical support. (If they're so necessary, why is it so difficult to get them on the ground in Sudan?) A lack of political support to offer up the helicopters among UN member nations has made it difficult. Our report shows where the helicopters around the world are and it shows there is no shortage of helicopters globally. (Where are they?) There are a lot being used in Afghanistan and Iraq, but we also identified plenty that are not being used there�in India, Romania, Spain, Czech Republic, etc. (Could the US be doing more?) The US could provide more money and the diplomatic wherewithal in the UN Security Council to support this mission and show a commitment to success. (Has that commitment not come in other ways? Is this issue of helicopters just part of a strategy to bring more attention to Darfur?) Well we do want more attention brought to Darfur, but there needs to be a comprehensive solution including protection of civilians which this force can do if it is fully and effectively deployed, but also a peace negotiation process. (How much of the peacekeeping force has been deployed in the past year?) Almost all the troops on the ground are former African Union forces that just changed their color, so they're way short of the 26,000 troops that were authorized a year ago today. (So a year on later, are the people of Darfur better off or worse off?) I think they're worse off because they've had to endure another year of this crisis and atrocity and it's time for the UN to take charge in protecting civilians.

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