Since the independence of Sudan in 1956, Darfur, situated in the western part of the country, has been confronted with numerous and violent conflicts. The actual crisis in the region began in February 2003 and opposed originally the non-Arab rebels of Darfur against the forces of the Sudanese government and the Arab militias it sustains, the Janjawids. Since then, it has become a heavy civil war in Africa – and featured even on an international scale. This conflict in Darfur is today considered as one of the major humanitarian crisis of the last decades: since the beginning of the civil war in 2003, more than five hundred thousands inhabitants of Darfur have been killed and more than two millions have been displaced. Although the crisis quickly took a great importance, the international media became interested in Darfur only one year after the beginning of the conflict, especially once the American government had spoken of ‘genocide'.
If the media put the emphasis essentially on this humanitarian disaster, the political and diplomatic solving of the crisis which aims at resolving the conflicts in the African continent the African Union, has been the leader of the peacemaking process from 2004. Darfur constitutes in fact its first large-scale intervention of peacemaking, and, therefore, it represents an important stake for the credibility of the young organization in the international scene.
[...] Furthermore, because of the opposition of a group of African countries, the passing of a resolution condemning the breach of human rights failed in the General Assembly of the UN The African Union, major peacekeeper in Darfur The African Union realizes the first real initiative of intervention in Darfur, taking the negotiations between the rebels and Khartoum in its hands after a Chadian mediation has failed. On the 8th April 2004, a humanitarian ceasefire is concluded: it facilitates the access of NGO's and arranges for the interruption of fights. [...]
[...] Insufficiency of the African Union and its replacement by UN: what prospects for the regional organization? 1. Acknowledgement of the African Union insufficiency As we have seen before, in the beginning the African Union, even when it was presented with several difficulties, played an essential role of intermediary in the conflict in Darfur. Indeed, with the two ceasefires signed in 2005, the decrease of the armed conflicts, the situation in Darfur became more peaceful. Thus, the African Union mission appeared quite effective and useful in its attempts to solve the crisis in Darfur. [...]
[...] out of its action in Darfur since the beginning of its intervention in 2004 and what are the prospects for the future? In order to answer all these questions, we will see that if the mission in Darfur represents for the African Union a major stake it seems to have constituted a too ambitious mission for the young regional organization (II). I. Peacemaking in Darfur: an important stake for the African Union A. The African Union as the principal governmental actor in Darfur 1. [...]
[...] Facing all these difficulties and these criticisms from the international community, the African Union has been constrained to recognize its inefficiency and its inability to solve the conflict in Darfur. Thus, during one of its reunions taking place on January 12th 2006, the Council of Peace and Security of the African Union recognized the powerlessness of the Amis force. The eventuality of a transition from the Amis to a United Nations' operation of peacekeeping emerged. During this session, the CPS gave an agreement in principle to such a change, but only in the framework of co-operation between the two international organizations in order to ‘promote peace, security and stability in Africa'. [...]
[...] To organize the partnerships between the African Union and other actors, states or international organizations, the Darfur Integrated Technical Force (DIFT) was created with Amis II. This institution was responsible for evaluating the needs of the African Union and communicating with the Partners Technical Support Group, composed with the representatives of the donator states. What is more, the African Union also experienced logistic and material difficulties. Its troops were unprepared, not well equipped and unable to be transported quickly from one place to another. The capacity for practical organization appeared very insufficient to the situation: there was clearly a lack of coordination between the different levels of the organization; they had no system of communication and information, etc. [...]
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