Africa Matters is a blog that follows the news and offers analysis of African affairs. Our aim is to delve deeper into the issues of African politics and development. We don’t presume to be experts, and we don’t presume to have all the answers—we are just trying to ask the right questions.

Friday, April 13

Darfur roundup

The New York Times takes an optimistic look at the efforts of Mia Farrow, Steven Spielberg, and others to pressure China to pressure Sudan on Darfur. Maybe now China will finally join the US and Europe in telling Khartoum to stop acting up without actually imposing any costs. For example, a China Daily editorial today urges Sudan to resolve the crisis, but argues that the root cause of the conflict is poverty and that a less confrontational approach is more appropriate. China has also warned that efforts to boycott the games will fail.

South Africa's Thabo Mbeki and US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte are both currently passing through Sudan to urge action on Darfur. The State Department's website has a transcription of Darur envoy Andrew Natsios’ testimony on a Darfur “Plan B” before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Meanwhile, Senegal has
threatened to withdraw its troops from the AU peace force unless the organization provides better equipment. The UN says an agreement on providing support for AU troops is close at hand, but "misunderstandings" persist.

Sonni Efron of the LA Times takes a critical look at the military option in Darfur, noting the role-reversal between Democrats and Republicans from the debate over war in Iraq.