The State Department, somewhat belatedly, has come out and expressed ‘extreme concern‘ about the Government of Sudan offensive in Darfur — an offensive that has taken place even as diplomats were heralding a deal between the government and the Justice and Equality Movement as a breakthrough. The statement is fairly weak tea given the flagrant nature and timing of President Bashir’s offensive, and it is small wonder that the peace deal is already showing signs of coming apart at the seams.
One other point in the State Department statement deserves special notice. The spokesman calls for the Government of Sudan and rebels to "allow the Joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur access to Jebel Marra to assess the humanitarian situation and restore stability." Any peacekeeping Mission that relies on the warring parties for a permission slip to carry out its most basic functions really isn’t much of a peacekeeping Mission at all. The fact that UNAMID can’t even get through a basic roadblock in Darfur gives you a good idea how effective they are at protecting the millions of Darfuris in harm’s way.