Darfur: Revitalising The Peace Process

Almost a year after Sudan’s government and one of three rebel factions signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), the humanitarian and security situation has deteriorated in the troubled western region of Sudan. Despite a recent lull, the post-DPA period has seen increased combat, including further government reliance on aerial bombardment and its allied Janjaweed militia. Civilian displacement continues while humanitarian space shrinks. If there is to be peace, the international community will need to coordinate better to surmount significant obstacles including Khartoum’s pursuit of military victory and growing rebel divisions. Over the last year, the primary focus has been on overcoming resistance of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to deployment of UN peacekeepers (or an AU/UN hybrid) so that civilians can be better protected; that remains essential but elusive, even after the NCP’s 16 April acceptance of the UN heavy support package for the AU force, as does an effective ceasefire. Equally important, however, and the focus of this report, is revitalising the moribund peace process.