The geography of The Sudan is the first challenge of the country. Sudan is the largest country in Africa. It is bordered by nine countries; in the north by Egypt, east and north east by Ethiopia and Eritrea, south by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Kenya, in the west by Central African Republic and Chad, and North West by Libya. Darfur is in the north western part of The Sudan. Darfur itself is a remote vast region, almost the size of France. It is 2,500 kilometres from the Red Sea coast and its infrastructure, particularly roads and airports capable of taking the largest aircraft, is underdeveloped. The environment is austere and highly demanding. Daytime temperatures in the summer regularly exceed 50° Celsius and the rainy season can prevent all road movement across large parts of Darfur for four months. Malaria is rife. It seems that these factors were not fully appreciated when the deployment of African Union/United Nations Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) was first conceived. This is one of the main reasons why the deployment and sustaining of the main UNAMID force and its equipment was slower than expected, but I will return to this later.
Gen Martin Luther Agwai (Retd) CFR
General Martin Luther Agwai has a long and distinguished military career and he is dedicatedto peace and security in Africa. Following his commissioning in 1972 and before retiring fromthe Nigerian Armed Forces in December 2009, he held several staff and command positionsboth in Nigeria and abroad, culminating in his promotion to four-star rank and appointmentas Chief of Defence Staff. During this time, General Agwai also served as Deputy ForceCommander of the United Nations (UN) Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAM SIL ), DeputyMilitary Adviser at the UN in New York, N.Y., Force Commander of the African Union (AU)Mission in Sudan (AM IS), and Force Commander of the AU/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur(UNAM ID).