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Bill Richardson's Darfur Plan is Missing an Ingredient -- Wrestle the UN

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by user DNL

Presidential candidate Bill Richardson announced today his plan for saving Darfur, the embattled region of Sudan.  The plan has six key points :

  1. First, America must make peace in Darfur a much higher priority. I agree with Save Darfur--we need full-time, high-level US diplomacy dedicated to ending this crisis.
  2. Second, America must engage Sudan's economic and political partners--China Pakistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Arab League to build a multilateral coalition with real leverage. That could begin by endorsing the Arab League's commitments on Darfur--to aid the African Union's mission, to fund development in Darfur, and to support the UN hybrid force in Sudan.
  3. Third, we should deploy a UN peacekeeping force to eastern Chad to prevent a regionalization of the conflict. America should join other wealthy countries to fund refugee camps in neighboring countries and assure that those weak states bend to accommodate, but do not break from the pressure.
  4. Fourth, we should use our full diplomatic weaponry --offering incentives for compliance and threatening multilateral sanctions for resistance to both the Government of Sudan and the various rebel groups.
  5. Fifth, we must develop agreed upon negotiating positions among the rebel factions, to assure that any common resolution won't be quickly undone by one dissatisfied rebel group.
  6. Last, America should join the International Criminal Court.

I disagree with #6, because I think the ICC is overly political.  I'm also a bit upset by the deferrence afforded the UN, but that's what the UN should do, I guess.

If I had my way, I'd change #6 to read:

America should withhold its annual dues to the UN until such time that the UN takes action to prevent the genocide in Darfur.  Further, America should encourage other wealthy nations to do the same.

I think that's the core value that Richardson and others are missing.  The UN was established to prevent the sort of atrocities that are occuring in Darfur, but the UN has taken no real action to prevent this one.   Until it does, America should do whatever it can do get the UN to act.





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