With the news that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has declared a ceasefire in Darfur as part of the government’s peace initiative, the Canadian media is suddenly swamped with stories about Darfur. Personally, I believe this presents a very real opportunity for the international community.
Everyone should therefore take a minute to either write a letter to the editor (200-300 words, one message) or post a comment on a website. I’ve listed some below as well as a sample letter.
Sudan declares ceasefire in Darfur – Globe and Mail
The announcement of a ceasefire by the Government of Sudan presents a very real opportunity for the international community to push for a just and lasting peace in Darfur. Canada and its international partners should support the move by the Government of Sudan, hold it to its word, and work to bring the rebels to the negotiating table.
I understand cynics and detractors who point to broken ceasefires in the past as reason that this one too will not work; however, it is precisely for that reason that we need to help this move build momentum. There has been far too little progress on peace talks for the past year. It is time that changed.
A few ways that the Canadian government could take the lead on this issue would be to appoint a Special Envoy, create benchmarks testing the Sudanese government’s commitment, and setting up a contact group of like-minded nations willing to support the process. It is time that this “genocide in slow-motion” is brought to end.