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Reuters is reporting that the United Nations Security Council has authorized 26,000 peacekeepers for Sudan's Darfur region. Member countries will have 30 days to decide how many troops and police they will be contributing to the mission (American ground troops seem unlikely). The unanimous vote came only after the peacekeepers' mandate had been watered down several times, but this is unmistakably progress:
The resolution allows the use of force in self-defense, to ensure freedom of movement for humanitarian workers and to protect civilians under attack.
Language that allowed confiscating illegal weapons would have been nice, but being able to act to protect civilians under attack is what is most important. And while 26,000 blue hats probably isn't enough to stop the widespread killing in Darfur, it's a lot better than 7,000 African Union troops. It's a sign that the international community is finally starting to move on this issue. It's a start. We can be grateful for that.
— Nick Baumann