Saturday, October 27, 2007

Darfur peace talks open in Libya

Today, key UN and other international leaders are meeting in Libya to begin official peace negotiations to try to end the long-running conflict in Darfur. However, many people are calling the negotiations futile and doomed since the main rebel group’s leader pulled out before it started. It is true that there is severe intra-fighting between the splintered rebel groups and no one voice that speaks for the people of Darfur. That fact makes a comprehensive peace agreement virtually impossible. But is all really lost before it’s even started?

If one views peace talks like a win-lose situation (like a sports game) where the win is a piece of paper with everyone’s signature promising everlasting peace, then, yes, these talks are doomed.

But instead of viewing the peace talks like a sports game, let’s view them as a medical conference. Here, talented men and women with experience in international diplomacy can get together and put their heads together to come up with a long-lasting cure. We must share ideas, listen to the opposite sides and then push for action. So much can happen when people get together around a common goal.

I would much rather they have “doomed” peace talks than no peace talks at all.

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