Last month in Sudan I worked with Darfuri women leaders to prepare for peace negotiations set to take place in Libya later this month. They defined priorities and next steps, and committed to continued collaboration and communication. Although they represented a wide variety of ethnicities and political interests, these women worked together productively. Unfortunately, most of them will never make it to the talks.
The contrast between my meeting and the halting march to peace talks in Libya was stark. Recently, an unprovoked attack on African Union peacekeepers in Darfur deeply rattled the already fragile push for peace. Pre-negotiations with various armed factions have been characterized by increasing fragmentation and grand standing.
Mediators must start giving seats at the table to those who are ready to negotiate peace and to discourage people from taking up arms to gain influence.
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