Over the weekend, there has been real movement toward a peace agreement to end the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. While the government indicated it would accept the agreement, the rebels believe there are issues that still need to be resolved. The key though is there is a real sense of urgency in international community to capitalize on the momentum that the African Union's proposal has brought on. That's why I was glad to see the administration dispatch Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick to Africa today to help get over the final hurdles to a peace agreement that will hopefully end political and ethnic conflict in the Darfur.
We cannot allow the atrocities there to continue, nor let the conditions get worse. Amid the breakdown, things have already started to worsen if you can believe that is possible. Because of funding issues, the UN World Food Program said Friday that it was cutting rations in half for the Darfur region, a region where the population is severely undernurished to start with. We must take advantage of this window while it is open, so we can begin to bring peace and stability back to Darfur.