Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No-Fly Zone

The Guardian reports that Tony Blair is pushing for a no-fly zone to be introduced in Darfur. The PM would want it enforced, if necessary, by bombing Sudanese airfields. The idea seems to be based on what the French did in the Ivory Coast back in 2004, when they destroyed the Ivorian air force in retaliation for the deaths of nine French peacekeepers.

This looks like a bit of theatre from Blair. There's no appetite in the military to actually get involved in Darfur, not with what's already going on in Afghanistan and Iraq. Sudan's allies in China would probably prevent anything like this getting through the UN anyway. But with the Sudanese government still stalling on letting UN troops into Darfur, Blair probably reasons the mere mention of military action might be enough to force them to change their tune. It probably won't work, but it's worth a try.

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