no silver bullets
Scarlett Lion is running a great new blog series called Context: Africa in which the goal is to give journalists a chance to discuss their areas of expertise in more depth than the typical news story allows. This week's interview is with reporter Rob Crilly. Rob is one of the best expat reporters working in east Africa right now. His work on Darfur is outstanding, and he's working on a book on the topic now.
In the interview, Crilly does an excellent job in explaining some of the problems and controversies over the way journalists have covered Darfur. He also offers a prescient critique of what's really needed to stabilize the region (emphasis mine):
"A lot of the pressure for change is coming from outside, from a Save Darfur movement that has polarized the debate. The first step has to be taking some of the heat out of that debate to make it easier to engage with Sudan and also the Arab world, which has largely kept quiet so far. Then the next step is looking for solutions from inside Sudan, in building bridges between the tribes which have become caught up in the conflict. Some of this work is already happening but gets overshadowed in the rush to vilify Khartoum. Then the top tier is to improve relations between Chad and Sudan, another key driver of conflict.Click here to read the full interview.
"There are no silver bullets. And many of the right processes are in place. The problem is that pressure is too often focused in the wrong places - getting peacekeepers in, the ICC - so that the international community expends all its energy, and political capital at the Security Council, on things that won’t end the conflict."