Darfur is located in the western part of Sudan. The Darfurians have been driven from their homes, maimed , tortured, killed, and displaced by the Sudanese government, and have been in desperate need of aid for years now. The death toll nears around 500,000, with still over 2.5 million Darfurians displaced, in refugee camps in Darfur, Chad, and the Central African Republic. A cry for help has been answered, but needs to continue to be answered. Peace in not just Darfur, but all of Africa is almost an impossibility as long as innocents are being murdered due to longstanding feuds between government and people.
The quest for peace has been a priority of the UN for years now. South Africa was one of the original members of the United Nations when it was founded in 1945, and has been actively striving to improve the wretched situations occurring in Africa. A program called UN Development Assistance Framework, or UNDAF, was developed so that diplomacy within the UN can be handled in a way that everyone agrees with. The potential outcomes of the program include: strengthening democracy and good governance, increasing efforts of promoting peace, safety, and justice, making sure governments and their allies are supported to produce economic advancement, and searching for and discovering chances that will lead to the obliteration of poverty.
Peacekeeping missions in Africa have shown mixed results. Calling any of them successful would be untrue, but the efforts being made to build peace are definitely present. The current situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo seems to be at a standstill, with tens of thousands dying every month, mostly from preventable diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, and malnutrition. The mission has a budget of over 1 billion dollars, but the care needed for malnourished, and the shelter needed for refugees needs to be implemented constantly. Wars are being fought continuously, so the UN cannot hesitate to make decisions about sending in more aid where it is necessary. Mistakes, such as one made by the chairperson of the African Union when he failed to mention the Democratic Republic of the Congo at all in a press conference in January, cannot happen. The people suffering and in dire need of some peace cannot afford these mistakes.
Recently, on February 18th of this year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to many countries in Africa and observed situations where people are in dire need. He met with leaders of many of these countries to diplomatically discuss options and “next moves”. On the 25th, Ban held a press conference in Pretoria, urging Zimbabwe to release political prisoners. It may seem to be only talk, but taking action in the slightest ways possible will move Africa toward a higher order of peace.