Rethinking Peacemaking in Darfur

Originally published
View original


Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 3

Author: Payton L. Knopf, International Affairs Fellow in Residence
Publisher: Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date: April 2011


Eight years after an April 2003 rebel attack on the airport in North Darfur precipitated mass violence throughout the region, the Darfur peace process remains adrift. In this Policy Innovation Memorandum, International Affairs Fellow Payton L. Knopf writes that the United States should reenergize diplomatic efforts by acknowledging that a peacemaking agreement is no longer possible in the next two to five years and by redefining its objective from generic promises of bringing “peace to Darfur” to two narrower goals: reducing violence so that some internally displaced persons can voluntarily return to their villages and indirectly supporting tribal reconciliation so stability can reemerge over the longer term.

For more on the Darfur peace process, visit the Sudan Human Security Baseline Assessment.

The Author

Payton L. Knopf is a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State who served at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum from 2006 to 2008 as an adviser to then special envoys for Sudan Andrew Natsios and Richard Williamson on their efforts to restart negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebels. He is currently serving as an international affairs fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations.