The Darfur peace process has stalled, and is now contingent upon the political opposition’s decision whether or not to join a national dialogue with President Omar al-Bashir’s government, notes Katie Campo, a Sudan expert at the National Endowment for Democracy. As the region wavers in violent limbo, one community in Darfur has refused to wait for peace to come to them. Instead, they went out and made peace for themselves, she writes for Global Post:
Spearheading an initiative for peace in Al Malam was Lukman Ahmed, a journalist originally from Al Malam who moonlights as a peacebuilder. Ahmed believed that if he could develop the area around Al Malam by rebuilding schools, hospitals, and markets, he could provide enough incentive for Al Malam’s residents to return home from the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps to which they’d fled, and to live together peacefully in the name of improving their livelihoods. So Ahmed did just that.
With funds raised from the Sudanese diaspora in the United States and international groups, Ahmed’s organization, Malam Darfur for Peace and Development (MDPD), rebuilt Al Malam and the surrounding villages. When displaced residents living in the camps heard about MDPD’s work, they decided to give their hometowns another chance.