October 4, 2007
Carter on the peace talks paradox
Here is what he had to say about the paradox that only guys with guns win seats at peace talks (see post below):
An effort is being made by the United Nations and the African Union to bring to Tripoli on the 27th of this month, people who represent the rebel groups and who also represent the government. As you know the only qualification for the rebel groups is that they have some guns and they are qualified to kill people. And so far that is the only criteria by which rebel groups are defined. There have been six major rebel groups identified, but according to figures we've heard since we've been here is that it is now 28. And now those rebel groups are fighting each other. And they are fighting other people who are completely innocent. There's no provision yet to make sure that people who are not at war, the civilians who live in this country, who want peace, will be represented at Tripoli.
And how will their representation be chosen? Those are very, very important questions. Some of those rebel groups have no constituency except their own bandit members quite often who are carrying an AK-47. They don't have any civilian supporters but they are the ones so far who are being qualified.
Well, when that negotiation starts, later this month, just three weeks from now, we hope that the participants will be patient because this complex an issue can not be resolved in a few days or even a few weeks. There needs to be time to feel out both sides, to feel out new participants if necessary and to be patient all around and that includes not just the government of Sudan and the people from Darfur, it also includes the UN, the international community and in particular the African Union.
Posted by aheavens at October 4, 2007 9:57 AM