The Great Debate UK

from Africa News blog:

Is Sudan’s Darfur crisis getting too much attention?

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Activists often say that the world is not paying enough attention to Sudan's Darfur crisis. But could the opposite be true -- that Darfur is actually getting too much attention, from too many organisations, all at the same time?

A rough count shows at least 10 international and local initiatives searching for a solution to the region's festering conflict. Many of them are at least nominally coordinated by the United Nation and the African Union. But with so many parallel programmes in play, the opportunities for duplication, competition and confusion are legion.

Top of the bill on the international stage is the double act between the United Nations and the African Union. Their joint Darfur mediator -- Burkina Faso's low-profile former security minister Djibril Bassole -- spends much of his time shuttling between capitals, holding closed-session discussions with rebels, regional powers, Darfuri intellectuals and civilian groups.

The most high-profile initiative is a project launched at the Arab League for peace talks between Sudan's government and rebels hosted in Qatar. Those talks, currently stalled, are hosted "in coordination" with Bassole but their have their own separate identity -- Qatar has made its own statements and has held its own meetings with rebels.

from The Great Debate:

Deterring future Darfurs

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Nick GronoNick Grono is Deputy President of the International Crisis Group.

The decision of the International Criminal Court to order the arrest of Sudan's President Omar Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes will reignite the debate over whether pursuing justice helps or hinders peace.

At one end of the spectrum are those who insist that any attempt to prosecute Bashir will obstruct efforts to end conflict in Sudan. But they have a difficult case to make, given the regime's violent history, and the lack of any significant moves towards peace in recent years. Then there are justice advocates who argue there will be no peace in Sudan until Bashir and his henchmen are held accountable for their atrocities. However, while such an outcome is obviously highly desirable, history is replete with peace deals achieved at the cost of impunity for perpetrators of atrocities.

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