Intrastate conflict and genocide are one of the most pressing concerns of world security. The formation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) after WWII dramatically reduced the number of wars between states, but the doctrine of state sovereignty led to unprecedented contests of power over state governments. In many parts of the world minorities go unprotected. There have been genocides and “ethnic cleansing” in Cambodia, the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Malaysia. One of the most intransigent problems has been Sudan.
It is estimated that since 2003 up to 300,000 have died and 2.5 million have been displaced in Darfur, and rape and looting there, in addition to massacres that have resulted from ethnic and religious clashes elsewhere in Sudan. The crisis in Darfur has been a top peacekeeping and humanitarian priority for the United Nations under the Secretariats of both Kofi Anan and Ban Ki Moon. Under their leadership, the UN was able to help broker the acceptance by Sudan of an international peacekeeping force that consists of a combination of UN Peacekeeping forces (DPKO) and the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS).
The mission’s headquarters is in El Fascher, in North Dafur. The force on the ground in 2008 included units from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. The goal is to have a peacekeeping force of African character that fulfills the UNSC mandate.
Neither the UN nor the African Union have been able to send or support enough forces to handle all the peacekeeping needs of Africa. UNAMID continues to face shortfalls in troops, equipment and other needs. Further, Sudan only reluctantly allows their deployment.