Canada's Role in Sudan

Any thoughts?

Our role in Sudan

National Post

Monday, July 26, 2004

Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, has raised the spectre of military intervention in Sudan, where Khartoum's Islamist government has been waging war against blacks in the Darfur region. Included in this campaign of ethnic cleansing have been mass rapes, the destruction of villages and the barring of desperately needed aid from abroad. The conflict, now more than a year old, has killed thousands of people and displaced more than a million. Given the enormous humanitarian stakes, Mr. Blair's announcement is to be welcomed.

According to a report from London last week, the British PM has told the British Foreign Office to prepare plans for various contingencies, one being the use of force. Considering the leadership Mr. Blair demonstrated on Iraq, this should not be taken as an idle threat. Among the plans reported to be under consideration at Downing Street are the use of British soldiers to ensure aid is delivered to those in need, logistical support for an African Union force of monitors and protectors, and troop protection for refugee camps being assailed by Khartoum-backed militias. Mr. Blair is playing down the report, but won't rule anything out.

Aggressive foreign intervention appears to be a pre-requisite for an end to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Sudan. While Khartoum has made the appearance of submitting to diplomatic pressure applied by the United States and other countries, it has yet to rein in the murderous militias. Moreover, the government -- led by a clique of Arab Islamists -- has waged a brutal two-decade-long war against non-Muslim African tribes in the southern part of the country. During this time, it has shown itself to be entirely indifferent to human suffering, even on such a scale as is unfolding in Darfur.

Britain is likely to play a central role in any military operation, and Canada should offer to support such a mission. Indeed, it is in line with the international role our current federal government has staked out for Canada. If the resources are there, Canada should go to Sudan. And if they aren't, that is perhaps the most compelling argument yet for refurbishing our badly rusting military.
No. I hate the Can west media ring, right wing at that. They would of been trilled to see the cons elected. Now, I'm happy they decided to reduce Canada military contributuion world wide to only 1.200 troops. My brother is in the army, currently in afghanistan (comming back the 19th of August). He left after christmas. In 3 years, he did 5 tours. 3-6 months each. Its time they let our troops relaxe a little.

My conlucion, no to sudan. If the UN decides its a priority to help out, then I guess we could a few humanitarian soldiers, to help rebuild. Some money, and ressources. But only, if this is a UN operation.

Under what circumstances would you agree to participation of Canadian troops in an international conflict?

Also, does your position mean that there are never circumstances where you would agree to Canadian troops to alleviate genocide-- and if so, do you consider yourself a pacifist?
Yes I am a pacifist. As to alleviate Genocide, we must understand why it happenned in the first place. Look for long term solution, to avoid such situations. We shouldnt only send troops every now and then.

I wonder why, all of sudden, the US and the UK wish to help avoid a genocide, when in Rwanda, everyone sat on their **** and did nothing.

Anyways, if they send troops to sudan, the only thing I am willing to accept, is under the UN.
Reverend Blair
Hmmm...there's oil in Sudan and suddenly the US is interested. Funny little coincidence there.

I would accept Canada going in without the UN, perhaps as a back-up to an African or multilateral force, as long as the UN gave an unofficial nod.

Going in to support the US and UK would be a mistake though. Their actions in Iraq have seriously hampered their ability to achieve anything and their "bomb first, ask questions later" tactics make it unlikely that there would be a long-term solution reached that did not require the establishment of US military bases there.
So your saying that ANY actions by the US/UK are immoral?
Reverend Blair
I'm saying that they've lost so much credibility over Iraq and the tactics (though not necessarly the cause) in Afghanistan that it is unlikely they could achieve a lasting peace.

They've also shown a willingness to put civilians at risk when there is an option of US or UK forces being put in harms way instead. Big bombs tend to have a very low return rate but a high civilian casualty rate in guerilla warfare, and that is what they'd be facing again.

They are the wrong forces for the situation and would very likely end up doing more harm than good. We need to find another that doesn't include France of China either, btw.
Assuming the UN does what it does best in these instances-- nothing-- what would you propose, and under who's aegis?
Quote: Originally Posted by researchok

Assuming the UN does what it does best in these instances-- nothing-- what would you propose, and under who's aegis?

The UN, is the sole one responsible for Rwanda not being as bad as it could of been. A friend of mine, from Rwanda, told me his story. His father, mother and two of his sisters we're killed. In front of his, and his little brothers eyes. The only reason he is still alive, is because Canadian troops their, we're in the area he was in. They saved him and his brother.

The UN might not be up on its high horses everytime something happens, but one thing I've notice with time, acting when you are calm, gives much better results then acting out of anger. Quick on the button in other words. The UN takes time, but it is effective. As it is skilled in all level of aid. Not just one departement (the military).
Thats interesting-- I seem to recall that some UN forces did NOT intervene.

Do you recall that?

Also, Im afraid time is in short supply in Darfur, and it would seem the military is the fastest way to end the horror.
Reverend Blair
The Canadians were the UN forces on the ground in Rwanda and they did what they could. They were far too small a force for the situation.

Romeo Dallaire, their leader, did come up with a plan that would have required only about 5,000 additional troops that experts have said would have most likely been effective, but his calls for help were ignored by the UN because of interfence by France and the US, as well as foot-dragging and obstrctions put up by Kofi Annan.

The real failure of the UN in Rwanda was once again caused by powerful members of the Security Council playing politics .
Our military is a joke and any commitment we would make in a Sudanese conflict would be a token one.

One of my childhood friends was one of the soliders who died in the friendly fire accident in Afghanistan and it does not phase me at all. Although the circumstances under which he died were horriable and sad, he was there for a good cause and he believed in it.

I think that we should do more abroad to help ensure that the world is a safer place in the future and that its inhabitants can live free from tyranny. If our military continues with this level of funding and neglect people like like Numure will get what they wish and Canada will become unable to play any role whatsoever. As it stands now we are are still able carry on our token roles, and the libs can appear like they are doing something but for how long...

I also believe that we should stop sacrificing our soverignty in exchange for American defense of our country....

But thats another story.
Canadians make good peacekeepers and at best a satisfactory army. If the UN directs Canada to go then we should, I do not trust US and UK intentions in any combat theater at the present time.
Jo Canadian
I don't know if this is a better late than never thing, personally we should have assisted last summer but at least it's a start. Would this also make us the first non-African Union force to assist with Sudan?

Canadian soldiers likely bound for Sudan


Canada is making plans to send peacekeeping troops to the war-ravaged Darfur region of Sudan by summer's end.

I think France has the largest oil interests in Sudan. Does anyone know off hand what economic sanctions the US has impossed on Sudan with respect to oil investment etc? Around 1997.

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