The ministers of defense, foreign affairs and development have, in the meantime, come out in favor of an expansion of the Bundeswehr Darfur mission. A possible option being considered alongside a new resolution of deployment, is an amplification of the current mandate, already two years in effect and extended Dec. 15 by the parliament. It provides for the deployment of up to 200 German soldiers, in connection with the African Union (AMIS) troops already stationed in Darfur. A third variation, also under occasional consideration is the expansion of the UN mission (UNMIS), for insuring the application of the peace agreement, in the Southern Sudanese autonomous areas. The Bundeswehr is also already present in Southern Sudan, with up to 40 soldiers.
Demands for a more aggressive Bundeswehr intervention in Darfur are heard particularly from former government coalition Green Party foreign policy politicians. In the mid '90s the Foreign Ministry had already joined the US-led anti-Khartoum front. The objective was to support the Rwandan government, that came to power in 1994. These protégés of Berlin are currently also active in Dafur. As the African affairs expert, Dr. Helmut Strizek, explained in his discussion with german-foreign-policy.com, once Joseph Fischer (Green Party) took office, the foreign ministry perfected cooperation with US East African policy.
Berlin was successful in significantly ameliorating its standing with several of Washington's cooperation partners. In Rwanda, market shares of French enterprises were transferred to Germans , in Ethiopia, German development agencies won influence with national administrators . The German standing was enhanced vis à vis the government of the Southern Sudanese autonomous region, putting German companies in a good competitive position for access to the rich resources of the Southern Sudan. In return, the Red-Green coalition government furnished the United States with a "left disguise for a policy, that from the standpoint of human rights, actually could not be championed at all", says Dr. Helmut Strizek.
The Greens succeeded - as the Clinton government in the USA, already earlier - in winning favor with the liberally oriented, left spectrum of human rights organizations, for the struggle against the Sudanese government. This was done with help of a selective perception of cruelty in the Sudanese civil wars, in which, in each case, Foreign Minister Fischer's party, took the side of the rebels against Khartoum. In the spectrum of the media, "the Greens affiliated 'taz' championed the same line" , is how Strizek describes the role of what had once been the alternative press, in molding public opinion in favor of the government foreign policy . This is why, for example, there was "never a real discussion" in Germany about "whether it makes sense, to exult one of the most horrendous ex-Marxist rebels, John Garang of Southern Sudan, as a great proponent of human rights".
Even while Berlin is raising the pressure on Khartoum , it can be discerned in the German capital that Berlin is carefully loosening its bonds to the East African policy of the USA, and to Washington's anti-Khartoum front. Influential politicians of the government coalition parties and from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) have spoken out against an expansion of the Bundeswehr Sudan mission. One must see the situation in this East African country "somewhat more differentiated", says Elke Hoff, FDP defense expert, following extensive discussions with officials in the Sudanese capital. The purpose is "to achieve a reasonable basis of discussion with the government in Khartoum". "Particularly now" the opportunity for a "Dialog" exists.
The Federal Government must also make Beijing "live up to its obligations", insists the Christian Ruck, spokesperson for development policy of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. The People's Republic of China has influence with the Sudanese government, with which it has close economic cooperation. "The Chinese are very active in the country. They currently have control over all of the economic and infrastructure projects," reported the FDP politician Hoff. "Of course, whoever helps, can also have a political say." Mrs Hoff sees it as "a completely wrong decision" to actively integrate Berlin into Washington's anti-Khartoum front by halting the work on the projects in areas controlled by the central government, as the development Ministry has done. It is likewise wrong, to currently only support activities in the Southern Sudanese autonomous areas. The FDP expert pleaded for an intensification of economic cooperation with Khartoum.