Is the war in Darfur over? (Maybe…for now.)
Today the BBC is reporting that the outgoing head of the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Gen. Agwai, believes “the vicious fighting of earlier years had subsided as rebel groups split into factions.” General Agwai said, “Banditry, localised issues, people trying to resolve issues over water and land at a local level. But real war as such, I think we are over that.”
Sudan analyst Gill Lusk said his comments were “unhelpful” because they could lead people to believe that Darfur’s problems had been solved.
“There has been a large decline in fighting in Darfur, and that is undoubtedly a good thing for the people,” she told the BBC.
“But it is the government that turns the tap on and off – they can restart the violence whenever they want.”
Gen Agwai insists the real problem now is political.
BBC Sudan correspondent James Copnall says that view is shared by many within Sudan.
The real problem is, was, and will be political. Obviously, what we need now is a 50-foot-high atrocity slide show on the side of a building in NYC to bring about a political solution in Sudan. (Flyers…er…fliers wouldn’t hurt either.) Thank Jeebus for the Save Darfur Coalition!