Ban Ki-moon in the Washington Post
We speak often and easily about Darfur. But what can we say with surety? By conventional shorthand, it is a society at war with itself. Rebels battle the government; the government battles the rebels. Yet the reality is more complicated. Lately, the fighting often as not pits tribe against tribe, warlord against warlord.
Nor is the crisis confined to Darfur. It has spilled over borders, destabilizing the region. Darfur is also an environmental crisis — a conflict that grew at least in part from desertification, ecological degradation and a scarcity of resources, foremost among them water.
I have just returned from a week in Darfur and the surrounding region. I went to listen to the candid views of its people — Sudanese officials, villagers displaced by fighting, humanitarian aid workers, the leaders of neighboring countries. I came away with a clear understanding. There can be no single solution to this crisis. Darfur is a case study in complexity. If peace is to come, it must take into account all the elements that gave rise to the conflict.