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Analysis: Negotiating Peace in Darfur

Council on Foreign Relations

April 25, 2007
Prepared by: Stephanie Hanson

On its website, the Save Darfur Coalition urges President Bush to strengthen the African Union (AU) force in Sudan’s Darfur region, push for deployment of a UN peacekeeping force, increase humanitarian aid, and establish a no-fly zone over the region. All laudable requests, yet noticeably missing is any entreaty to press for peace negotiations. International efforts to address the crisis in Darfur suffer from the same myopia. Nearly a year since one Darfur rebel group and the Sudanese government signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), zero progress has been made on bringing the other rebel groups—now numbering fifteen—to the negotiating table.

A new Crisis Guide takes a multimedia look at the historical background to the Darfur conflict and the role of the United Nations and other international actors. Since fighting broke out in 2003, at least two hundred thousand people have died and more than 2.5 million have been displaced from their homes by fallout from the war between Darfur’s rebels and Sudanese janjaweed militias. In recent months, fighting on the ground has become “increasingly chaotic,” intensifying to include localized tribal conflicts and Arab-on-Arab violence, reports UN Special Envoy Andrew S. Natsios.

Most experts agree only a negotiated agreement between the rebel groups and Khartoum will ultimately bring peace to the region. An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times argues: “In the absence of a peace agreement to monitor, what right do we have to demand that anyone—be they our children or UN blue helmets from the Third World—go and die in Darfur?”

Read the rest of this article on the website.

Copyright 2007 by the Council on Foreign Relations. This material is republished on with specific permission from the Reprint and republication queries for this article should be directed to

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