Darfur – a graveyard for hundreds of thousands of people. More than 2.7 million people were displaced and thousands killed as a result of a conflict between the government of Sudan and armed groups in the western region who claim they are being pushed out by the government’s pro-Arab policies.
Soon after its most deadly chapter, international attention was solid. But now the celebrities are mostly gone. Agreements however still come and go. The most recent one was signed in Doha, Qatar’s capital, last year, but did not include the main warring factions. But throughout this the problems remain and so do the peacekeepers. Mandated by the United Nations and the African Union, UNAMID is the largest peacekeeping force in the world. Its job is noble but difficult: To protect civilians, support the peace process, and promote human rights and freedoms.
Ibrahim Gambari, a Nigerian diplomat and the chief of UNAMID is no stranger to dealing with tough political conflicts – he has been on assignments in Myanmar, Angola and Iraq. But this does not exempt him from being criticised. Some question his relations with Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president. Should a top UN envoy be mingling with a president that is wanted for war crimes? What progress has been made to achieve comprehensive and sustainable peace in Darfur?
Gambari, one of Africa’s most experienced diplomats and the man responsible for upholding peace in Darfur opens up to Talk to Al Jazeera.
|This episode of Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen on Al Jazeera English at the following times GMT: Saturday, June 30: 0430; Sunday, July 1: 0830, 1930; and Monday, July 2: 1430.|