What I Saw in Darfur: Untangling the Knots of a Complex Crisis-Ban Ki Moon

The current UN Sec-General, Ban-ki-Moon has filed a report on the Darfur Crisis after his recent visit in today’s Washington Post.  It is gut-wrenching stuff; simply amazing that even the UN Sec-Gen is not able to do anything about this crisis and its complexity.

The Sec-Gen Ban laments that the “rebels battle the government; the government battles the rebels. Yet the reality is more complicated. Lately, the fighting often as not pits tribe against tribe, warlord against warlord. Nor is the crisis confined to Darfur. It has spilled over borders, destabilizing the region. Darfur is also an environmental crisis–a conflict that grew at least in part from desertification, ecological degradation and a scarcity of resources, foremost among them water.” He argues that “there can be no single solution to this crisis. Darfur is a case study in complexity. If peace is to come, it must take into account all the elements that gave rise to the conflict.”

On the UN efforts, the Secretary General argues that the UN has “made a good start,” and the “UNSC has authorized the deployment of 26,000 multinational peacekeepers, jointly conducted by the United Nations and the African Union (AU).”Secretary Ban further argues that “no peacekeeping mission can succeed without a peace to keep,” and that we also need to look urgently “for a political settlement.” Moreover, he also assures the world that the “Khartoum government of President Omar al-Bashir” has indeed “renewed its unqualified commitment to support the peacekeeping mission ” and “comprehensive peace talks.” The next round of political negotiations is going to take place of all places in Libya on Oct. 27, under the joint A.U.-U.N. leadership.Most importantly, Ban concludes his article, by identifying the need for comprehensive political and economic development solutions by arguing that “we must deal with all of them-security, politics, resources, water, and humanitarian and development issues.”


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