Earlier this year, New York Times op-ed columnist Nick Kristof prodded bully- pulpit bully Bill O’Reilly to accompany him to Darfur, the troubled Sudanese region where civilians are under attack from governmentally supported Janjaweed militia and nomadic groups. O’Reilly, of course, passed—but now a virtual invitation is extended to the public, as Kristof appears on this panel to provide insight into how this horrific situation has unfolded and how some measure of peace might be brought to the area. He’s joined by several other experts on the crisis: Mark Malloch Brown, the newly appointed U.N. deputy secretary general, who has a long history of advocacy in human rights and refugee issues; Juan Méndez, who addresses these matters as president of the International Center for Transitional Justice; Darfuri refugee Tragi Mustafa; and, as moderator, Karima Bennoune, a Rutgers-Newark professor of international law with extensive background in the international human rights and women’s rights struggles. The panel declares confidently that “we are the best hope for peace in Darfur,” but that’s only true if we come to a more sophisticated understanding of the dynamics in what Kristof has called “the world’s most awful place.” Be prepared for a difficult dose of reality.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 11, 2006