A brief description of the Secretary-General’s most recent report on Darfur alleges that cooperation between the Sudanese government and the UN peacekeeping force “has improved.” This is true, but considering the low baseline of Sudan’s “cooperation,” it is unfortunately not altogether helpful. As the S-G’s report itself observes, before sounding that somewhat optimistic note:

It is also important to acknowledge that there continue to be instances where Khartoum-based decisions to support UNAMID work are not implemented locally. This relates especially to freedom of movement for UNAMID personnel and customs clearances to allow equipment into the Sudan.

Official government cooperation has never been the problem. Khartoum has typically stated — when not making outlandish threats, that is — that Sudan would comply with the UN Security Council resolution establishing UNAMID, and would work alongside the force to bring peace and stability to Darfur. The problem has long lay in the implementation of this compliance on the ground. And to read that this is still flagging is discouraging indeed.

Oh, and those helicopters are still sorely needed.

(image from UN Photo)

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