Sunny Darfur?

Riyad IDP Camp - D. Mercado

In talking about the situation in Darfur as he departs his post, the commander of UNAMID Martin Luther Agwai, has offered some very self-serving remarks. Agwai rightly notes the declining levels of violence in Darfur, but entirely misses the big picture in doing so. "As of today, I would not say there is a war going on in Darfur," declared Agwai in a briefing in Khartoum.

So the days of wine and roses have arrived? What Agwai and others conveniently fail to mention: the three million Darfuris stuck in refugee and displaced camps unable to return to their homes because of insecurity and violence. Having driven three million people from their homes, President Bashir and his janjaweed allies do not need to engage in daily military clashes anymore because they have achieved their objectives. Instead of offering self-congratulatory remarks, the outgoing commander and the entire international community should simply note that it is appalling that after more than six years they have still failed to create the conditions on the ground that would allow displaced peoople to return home by disarming the janjaweed, holding perpetrators of earlier war crimes accountable, securing a viable peace deal, and putting a credible peacekeeping force in place.