Monday, June 8, 2009

More Small Arms Survey summaries

Jerome Tubiana's "Echo Effects: Chadian instability and the Darfur conflict" is a masterful summary of players and events in Chad as they relate to Darfur. A must-read for understanding the history of shifting alliances that make credible commitment impossible. But how to resolve the security dilemma when commitment is locally impossible? For Tubiana, "a concerted and comprehensive diplomatic initiative is needed" that involves the Chadian opposition and issues relating to democratic governance. But is there really any basis for this? The report contains virtually no mention of the role played by the Chadian opposition (presumably he means the opposition political forces in N'Djamena). The Machakos/Naivasha initiative leading to the CPA deliberately excluded this paralell opposition in Sudan, and was very successful (at least fours years into the interim period). Why should one recommend a different process for Chad?

The other recommendation is to bring pressure on Deby to desist from supporting his proxy militias. But this advice is at odds with the recommendation of the South Sudan disarmament briefings (to be reviewed tomorrow) which suggest that "unilateral" disarmament is likely a bad idea, generating a vicious circle of neighboring militias taking advantage of local power vacuums, creating incentives for rearmament after killings, and compounding the problem of local distrust.

Finally, Tubiana recommends more local development assistance, specifically mentioning "nomadic Arabs" to maintain their way of lives. Some specificity would have been useful: I am curious what exactly he has in mind other than the usual provision of veterinary services. I've always wondered whether development organizations have *anything* to offer to pastoralists. They just know so much more than any development expert. Of course, he may just mean the usual social services of regular markets, education, and health.

No comments:

Post a Comment