"A team of scientists has discovered the underground remnants of an ancient lake in Sudan's arid Darfur region. The freshwater lake, which would have existed between 5,000 and 11,000 years ago, is believed to have been about the size of Lake Erie." - NPR
Probably the best news the region has received and might receive in a while. To the outside world the conflict is perceived as tribal warfare, but at its roots it is a struggle to control an environment that can no longer support all the people who must live on it. But even if this works, the big question is will this end the killing?
The U.N. Security Council approved a 26,000 strong peace keeping force after the Chinese government decided not to oppose the legislation. Certainly, since eight percent of China's oil comes from Sudan and with the Olympics coming along, they definitely needed some time to think about this. While the optimist would say "hey, atleast we got some troops in there," the pessimist would argue that the conditions under which they will be deployed are a joke. The Arab government which has allowed mass slaughter gets to determine where the U.N. soldiers can go. The U.N. soldiers cannot seize weapons from the Janjaweed. And there doesn't seem to be any threats of trade sanctions in sight either. And hidden under the veil of these failed diplomatic efforts, there is the battle to control the oil in the region. In essence, history will repeat itself, or not?