Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Bit of Good News

I am happy to report that my skepticism regarding the willingness of NATO to act in Darfur seems misplaced:

NATO has agreed to airlift African Union troops into Sudan's troubled Darfur region and provide some training, officials said Wednesday.

The United States will perform some of the airlifts, a senior U.S. defense official said. The first could come this month or next, said the U.S. official and a NATO diplomat, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity because final details of the plan have not been arranged.

Violence has raged in Darfur for more than a year, mostly between black Africans and ethnic Arab militiamen called Janjaweed aligned with the Sudanese government. The government and Janjaweed have been accused of committing wide-scale abuses against ethnic Africans in which 180,000 people have died and millions have fled to refugee camps.

The Darfur mission would be NATO's first in Africa. The African Union a 53-member organization that African countries use to address problems on that continent asked NATO in April to help bring more of African troops into the remote region.

This is just a small step, but it is a good beginning.


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