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The international response to the Darfur crisis

By David Lanz (19/09/2008) Other publications

I. Sanogo/AFP/Getty Images
The conflict in Darfur has triggered an international response that eclipses all other conflicts in Africa. Yet the Darfur conflict appears further than ever from resolution.

This comment argues that one reason for the ineffectiveness of international conflict management efforts in Darfur is that different actors contradict each other, despite their good intentions.

It is not possible to simultaneously run a humanitarian operation, deploy peacekeepers, try the Sudanese President in an international court, negotiate a peace agreement, and foster the democratic transition of Sudan.
Conflict managers in Darfur and elsewhere must learn to set priorities and to recognise that their decisions have opportunity costs.

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