Sunday, December 07, 2008

Zimbabwe is bad, but welcome to hell

I often say that Zimbabwe is bad...but that anarchy and civil war would be worse.

Link is to Strategypage, who describes the situation for refugees in Chad:

December 6, 2008: Since the 3,700 EU peacekeepers can only cover about half the refugee camps in eastern Chad (containing nearly half a million Sudanese and Chadian refugees), the bandits have figured out which camps are vulnerable, and concentrated on looting and robbing in those areas. NGOs are prime targets, and some of these medical and food relief operations have been shut down until government or EU forces can move in to make it temporarily safe. So far this year, there have been 10-20 attacks on NGO personnel a month. The UN is calling for an UN force of 6,000 peacekeepers to replace the EU troops, but no one is eager to send their soldiers to such a remote and hostile place.

The biggest problem any peacekeepers face is the gangs of bandits and Darfur rebels who live off the camps. There are dozens of these groups, and some of them contain a hundred or more armed men. The principal Darfur rebel group, JEM, often keeps family members in Chad refugee camps, and think nothing of coming by, gun in hand, for a visit. This is a true frontier area, beyond the law, and full of characters, carrying guns and willing to kill if pushed.

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