The latest news out of Darfur of a government offensive launched against civilians in North Darfur demonstrates how shamefully self-serving the recent comments are from top U.N., A.U., and U.S. officials. They’ve claimed: "no war as of now," "it is over," and noted that Darfur is plagued by a mere "law enforcement issue." Of course the war is not over in Darfur. Yes, there are ebbs and flows to conflict in Sudan, just as there were in the 20 year war in the South and transitional areas. But the suffering of Darfur’s civilian population continues, and any assessment that distorts the reality of Darfur’s continuing strife does a disservice to the ongoing efforts to keep this issue burning brightly for the policymakers and diplomats who so far have failed to help end the crisis.
Despite the distortion of the Sudan advocacy movement that some analysts continue to perpetuate, the answer we activists continue to propose is a more credible peace process in Darfur that lays down a serious peace proposal which addresses the root causes of Darfur’s conflict and builds internal and international support for the proposal. Carrots and sticks would be deployed in the service of resolving the conflict in Darfur, along with the equally important effort to fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement which ended the 20-year war with southern-based rebels.
There is an answer to Sudan’s agony. It is effective diplomacy in support of a just peace throughout the country. The biggest key to unlocking this outcome is held by the Obama administration. Let us keep demanding that it deploy that key properly and use its influence to help bring peace to all of Sudan.
Photo: Women and children at camp for displaced in Darfur. (Enough/Doug Mercado)