DARFUR: General Martin Luther Agwai, commander of the African Union Mission in Sudan, gave an interview to the BBC’s Orla Guerin a week or so ago. It dwelt on what exactly needs to be done if the new UN-AU hybrid force is to make a difference in Sudan, once the green hats of the AU are swapped for the blue hats of the UN. So far so good. But what has got the Khartoum government hot and bothered a week later? Well his choice of military heroes included Ariel Sharon, a name certain to raise liberal eyebrows and to send Arab governments – such as Sudan’s – into a tizzy. Don’t expect too many more interviews from General Agwai in the immediate future.
The general told BBC News that building a peacekeeping force of that size from scratch would take time, and he warned against high expectations, saying without peace his troops would be in a “in a very uncomfortable position”.