When negotiations for peace between North and South Sudan started in 2002, a new conflict escalated in the western Sudan. There is no better description of the Darfur crises, observed by so many, than the one of the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. From the tribune at the UN General Assembly he delivered the following words describing Darfur:

“Where continuous spectacle of men and women, and children driven from their homes by murder, rape, and burning of their villages makes a mockery of our claim as international community to shield people from the worst abuses.”

In 2006, many world leaders expressed similar words of outrage. The term genocide was in the air. Darfur became a synonym for murder, rape, abuse, and torture. Non-governmental organizations became involved in the border region of Chad and Sudan, where civilians were forced to flee from the violence of the government allied militia Janjaweed. For nearly three million people and counting, a new life began in the camps.

“Although the crisis in Darfur has generated more commentary, reports, and media coverage in recent years than the twenty violent years of the second Sudan civil war in the South, few have understood that the disaster is not some spontaneous eruption against neglect, misgovernment, and racism, but the latest episode in the forty-year tragic conflict for control of the great basin of the Lake Chad.” (Robert O. Collins, A History of Modern Sudan, p 272)

Last week news agencies reported on the meeting between Sudan’s president al-Bashir and his counterpart from Chad Idriss Deby. (Reuters, 9.2.2010) To find a compromise that will end the agony of the Lake Chad basin conflict, it will probably take more than just one high-level tea party. While war crimes accused leaders sip their tea, the rest of the world should re-play the Kofi Annan’s speech to the General Assembly.

In a decade the international community was not able to provide for human security in the region. Only their reports have been updated, because the death and IDP numbers are continuously rising.