With no end in sight to the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, a human rights group is calling on the united nations to appoint a high level envoy to try to broker a peace deal.
Human Rights First says current efforts to end the conflict and attacks on civilians are inadequate. Neil Hicks, director of international programs for Human Rights First, explains why a special envoy is needed.
“First of all, while officials are talking in New York and in Abuja in Nigeria, people are continuing to die in Darfur. Millions of people are living in fear and the situation is getting worse, so more needs to be done. Secondly, both the security and the political mechanisms currently in place to respond to the Darfur crisis are insufficient. And there is a need for some new initiative from the international community. And we believe our proposal for the appointment of a high level envoy will be such an initiative. Thirdly, our proposal for an envoy is parallel to the many calls for strengthening the African Union force in Darfur…We see our proposal as bolstering the political initiative, which is essential to go alongside bolstering the security arrangements for the people in Darfur.”
Also, John Stompor, a member of the organization’s international justice program, says the call for an envoy followed consultations with ngos, the AU, the United States and United Nations officials.
Stompor says, “These consultations have convinced us that while governments and international organizations have made substantial efforts to bring humanitarian aid, greater security and peace to the people of Darfur, the current measures are insufficient. These consultations also gave us a strong sense that our proposal for an envoy for peace in Darfur fills a gap in the current efforts for a just and sustainable peace in the region.”