Peace at risk in Darfur

The New York Times fronted a report today on the tensions building once more between the Sudanese government and rebel groups in Darfur. Almost four months have passed since the government in Khartoum signed a peace agreement with one rebel group; now “the government is preparing a fresh assault against the rebel groups that refused to sign.”

According to the Times, Khartoum’s renewed mobilization is in response to acts of violence by the rebel groups that did not sign on to the peace agreement earlier this year. Attacks on aid workers by both rebel groups and government-sponsored militias have made it increasingly difficult for aid workers to bring services to the thousands of people displaced by the fighting; one aid worker told the Times, “If there were a major military offensive you could be looking at a complete evacuation of humanitarian workers in Northern Darfur, which would leave millions without a lifeline.”

An overextended African Union force of 7,000 has been stationed in Darfur to enforce the peace agreement; this afternoon, the U.N. voted to send in a force of 21,000 troops and police officers–however, deployment of the force is contingent upon the approval of the Sudanese government.

Take action! Attend the Save Darfur Coalition rally, “Voices to Stop Genocide,” in New York City on September 17, 2006.