When the Bush administration dials 911, John Danforth often picks up the call. Team Bush is rushing Danforth back into service as the administration's new point man at the United Nations.
Danforth was until recently in semiretirement back at his St. Louis, Missouri, home. He successfully served as a special envoy to Sudan to push southern rebels and the government of Sudan into historic peace accords. Those peace talks ended years of internal warfare that claimed an estimated 2 million lives.
Within days taking the oath of office as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Danforth stepped back into the foreign-policy breach and pressed both the government of Sudan and the U.N. Security Council to stop the crisis in the Darfur region of western Sudan.
Human-rights activists are branding as "genocide" and "ethnic-cleansing" the killing and displacement of black Muslim villagers in Darfur. The government armed northern Arab militias (known as Janjaweed) to suppress rebels in Darfur, an arid region the size of California. "The Sudanese government created a monster and they're having trouble putting it back in the cage," a UNICEF official told Newsweek magazine recently. As many as 10,000 villagers have been killed.
Danforth, during an exclusive interview with Christianity Today, said, "To our great credit, the United States has taken the lead in showing concern for the people of Darfur." Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan recently visited camps along the Chad-Sudan border. Arab militias have driven out more than 1 million people. Although much fighting has stopped, many villagers are fearful of returning and are starving in border camps. Sudan officials have limited the access of aid groups, compounding ...