The world is waiting for March 4th’s decision from the International Criminal Court regarding an arrest warrants for Sudanese President Omar al-Basher. This is an historical moment for international justice and many activists in the anti-genocide community are looking to the new Obama administration to take this opportunity to catalyze multilateral efforts to bring about a solution to Sudan’s decades-long cycle of warfare (read more about Enough’s thoughts on this topic in our strategy paper "What the Warrant Means: Justice, Peace, and the Key Actors in Sudan"). As the conflict in Darfur begins its sixth year—outlasting World War II—leading journalists have chosen not to file away this issue as “old news,” and instead are reporting on just how much is at stake at this moment in the conflict in Darfur.
Ann Curry reported via Twitter on Thursday that a refugee camp school in Chad is named after President Obama himself. “Now that’s the audacity of hope,” she says. Curry isn’t the only one on the ground in Chad with Darfuri refugees. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is also there with United Nations Goodwill Ambassador George Clooney. Along the border, Kristof and Clooney are witnessing the tense situation people are currently living in, and are hearing from Darfuris about their great hopes of leadership from the new U.S. administration.
It is hard to overstate the high expectations that people and governments around the world have for President Obama. Nevertheless, the immediacy of the situation in Sudan is clear. The Sudanese government continues to bomb villages in Darfur and threaten the U.N./African Union peacekeeping force. The numbers of refugees and internally displaced people in the volatile Chad-Sudan border region continue to climb.
As journalists such as Curry and Kristof report from the remote Chad-Sudan border, we hope that Darfuris are not the only ones who are holding on to the “audacity of hope.”
We hope that the Obama administration is listening.
- We hope that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice continues her strong efforts to lead the United Nations in working together toward a resolution of the Darfur conflict.
- We hope that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received the 600 phone calls from STAND’s Round the Clock Call In last Friday.
- And we hope that the Obama administration will act now and appoint a special envoy to lead a revitalized U.S. policy toward Sudan.