The rebel assault on an AU outpost in Darfur was nothing short of a massacre. Hundreds of rebel troops descended on the AU base, attacking the outnumbered peacekeepers from all sides. Ten were killed and possibly dozens of troops were captured.

Yesterday’s attack will have and lasting consequences for the prospects of peace in Darfur. The Secretary General’s ability to raise troops for the hybrid peacekeeping mission has just become much, much harder. Member states, justifiably be concerned that their troops are merely targets, may be less forthcoming with their contributions. The attack also underscores the fact that there is very little peace to keep in Darfur. Spoilers are determined to keep spoiling — particularly as rebel groups and pro-government militia try to consolidate their gains ahead of the Libya-sponsored peace talks later this month.

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