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The European Union and the Wars in Darfur: A Bystander with No Clout?

Giovanna Bono

The paper evaluates two views about the failure of the EU's record of intervention in the Darfur wars: one statesthat the cause lies in the EU's inability to formulate a coherent political strategy; the other maintains that the failurewas due to a lack of political willingness to adopt a policy for military intervention.The assumptions behind these analysis are then situated in two broader theoretical driven debates about the EU'srole in 'peacebuilding' and 'statebuilding' which examine whether the EU can act strategically and the type ofpeace that it seeks to foster in 'fragile states'.The findings suggests that, between late 2006-2009, the EU, strongly influenced by French policy, did develop apolitical strategy. As the Darfur war turned into an interregional war between Chad and Sudan, the EU gavemilitary backing to Chadian President Deby's regime against the Sudanese government. These findings suggestthat the EU's approach to peacebuilding contains features of a 'victor's peace' approach but there remain internalcontradictions that prevent the EU to act as a coherent 'statebuilder'.

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