the latest on darfur, sudan …

Those of us who have been involved in the Darfur genocide and associated humanitarian crises know that Eric Reeves has been a tireless voice for achieving a real resolution there. He voices real concerns that the Obama administration (led by special envory Scott Gratian) will be excessively optimistic in his recent Boston Globe editorial here. Quotable:

Most disturbing, Gration gives no evidence in any of his public comments of understanding the ruthless nature of the security cabal that rules Sudan and is determined to retain its stranglehold on national wealth and power; like many before him, he is convinced that the National Islamic Front is controlled by men who can be reasoned with, cajoled, rewarded, made to do “the right thing.’’ He ignores the basic truth about these men: during their 20 years in power they have never abided by any agreement with any Sudanese party. Any rapprochement that is not preceded by clear and irreversible actions to establish unimpeded humanitarian access, create freedom of movement and deployment for peacekeepers, and meet the critical benchmarks of the north/south peace agreement is doomed to fail.

Reeves’ suspicion reminds me of the sagely advice of a friend of mine who has spent his entire career in foreign service. “The key issue, again and again, is regime continuation,” he said. In other words, those in power want to stay in power, and those out of power want to get in and stay in. Many of us would agree – the Khartoum regime has already had a lot of continuation without much to show for it except broken promises, death, displacement, and defiance of international concern. Let’s pray for peace in Darfur. And let’s pray that our leaders will push and pull in the wisest ways possible.