Security Council to Address Darfur

As mentioned yesterday, Special Envoys of the United Nations and African Union will travel to Sudan next week to meet with Government officials and Darfur rebels. Today, acting United States ambassador to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff helped ramp up the pressure on Sudan by announcing that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will address the Council based on the envoys’ recommendations.

In this State Department release, Wolff conveys a “general sense of frustration” from the Security Council.

“‘We have been dealing with this for many, many months,’ Wolff said after the closed-door Security Council meeting. ‘We continue to find ourselves stymied by questions and stalling tactics on the part of Sudan government.'”

Wolff seems to be sounding the right notes by chastising Khartoum for using delaying tactics to stymie the expressed will of the Security Council. Still, the central dynamic that is preventing the deployment of peacekeepers remains. So far, Khartoum has yet to be convinced that a robust peacekeeping force in its western region is something to which it cannot afford not to accede. The kind of political pressure from key member states that could help overcome Khartoum’s defiance is apparently lacking. Only when member states are willing to expend real diplomatic capitol commensurate with their current rhetorical admonishments will peacekeepers have a chance to set foot in Darfur.