This colorful photo of female Darfur refugees is in stark contrast with the obscure reality: a UN estimate of over two million displaced persons, and maybe 200 thousand deaths since the start of ethnic violence in that region of Sudan, in north-eastern Africa.
No sooner had Bernard Kouchner (of "French Doctors" fame) been named minister of foreign affairs by Nicolas Sarkozy than he visited Khartoum, on 11 June 2007, and launched the idea of an international conference on the Darfur tragedy. And that conference took place today, offering a glimmer of hope.
"Silence kills," said Sarkozy, assuming fully his new role as an international statesman. And Kouchner evoked "a tiny glimmer of light in the depths of this darkness". The Paris conference obtained Khartoum's authorization to deploy more than 20 thousand peace-keeping soldiers supplied conjointly by the African Union and the UN.