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Unformatted text preview: 149 The African Union in Darfur: An African Solution to a Global Problem? 7 Adam Keith is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at Princeton Universitys Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (email@example.com). T HE A FRICAN U NION IN D ARFUR : A N A FRICAN S OLUTION TO A G LOBAL P ROBLEM ? Adam Keith Since 2003, Sudans central government has used proxy forces to slaughter thousands of civilians belonging to ethnic groups associated with the uprising taking place in the Darfur region. Serious outside pressure would likely be required to change the regimes preferences for repression, as Sudans central govern- ment has concluded that, if unchecked, the uprising would threaten the regimes survival. The African Union (AU) has been admirably engaged in the Darfur crisis but has ultimately proven ineffectual, hindered by poor resources and weak political will. At the same time, the Sudanese governments intransigence and the diplomatic protection it has received from China have blunted the more ambitious steps taken by the United Nations Security Council. Ending the human rights violations that have plagued Darfur will require greater pressure from China on its partners in Khartoum, and this article concludes that advocacy from activist groups and the African Union itself could produce such an outcome. Since the Cold Wars end, Africa has frequently been the site of severe hu- man rights violations, including many that were perpetrated or directed by a national government against its own citizens. Governments that commit such atrocities do not do so lightly. Powerful motivations lie behind their preferences for repression, which is a tool that they employ to retain 150 Adam Keith political power, secure and distribute resources, and ultimately ensure their regimes survival (Hafner-Burton 2005, 600). When this is the case, changing an abusive regimes behavior will require significant pressure, whether through diplomatic criticism, economic sanctions, or humanitar- ian military intervention. The record suggests that this kind of action may not always be forthcoming from those with the greatest influence. This article examines a particular case of human rights violations, the atrocities carried out beginning in 2003 by government-supported militias against non-Arab ethnic groups in the Darfur region of Sudan, and assesses the contributions of the African Union and the UN Security Council to the effort to halt those violations. The African Union suffers from a chronic dearth of resources and political will to effectively persuade or prevent the Sudanese government from continuing its campaign, while the UN Security Council too faces problems of will, aggravated by the Sudanese governments defiance and Chinas deep reluctance to act. Given these cir- cumstances, this article concludes that the best hope of ending the violence in Darfur is to persuade Chinas government to use its extensive leverage...
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.
- Fall '11