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African Union Balks After Darfur Attack

An African Union peacekeeper forces camp in Darfur came under attack and was overrun by 'rebels,' who stormed the camp with "30 heavily armed trucks." An AU spokesman said, “Our camp was totally destroyed and they looted everything: guns, trucks, even an armored personnel carrier.”

As a result, rather than redoubling committed defenses, some are reportedly (and rightly) concerned that African Union members may reconsider any further commitment to Darfur at all. From the New York Times, "Darfur Rebels Kill 10 in Peace Force".

The raid, which began late Saturday and appeared to be highly organized, was the deadliest and boldest attack on African Union peacekeepers since they arrived in Darfur three years ago.

It came just as the United Nations has been trying to persuade member countries to commit troops and support to a greatly expanded Darfur peacekeeping force. Aid officials now fear that some of those countries may have second thoughts about participating.

And such is the nature of reluctance among some when it comes to actually confronting a deadly enemy who shares little such reluctance to engage and attack. The (in)actions in reaction by the African Union is little different than similar reluctance among some NATO allies in Afghanistan.

The enemy in Sudan is not fundamentally different from the enemy faced elsewhere in the conflict at hand. He is capable, bold and, importantly, often much more motivated than those fielded to oppose them.

To that end, it is worth noting here that Hizballah is considered by many the most capable Arab armed force in the region not for its arms and assets, but simply because it fields a supremely motivated fighter to the field than other regional Arab state forces.