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WHERE IS THE SECRETARY GENERAL'S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR DISPLACED PERSONS? HOW ABOUT HIS "COMPATRIOTS" IN DARFUR?

1 September 2004

His Excellency Ambassador (former) Francis Deng got very upset when a year ago we wondered what he really did except issuing a statement reiterating an earlier statement by the Secretary General. Now the question is what is he doing about one million people displaced in Darfur. It is not like searching for a new formula for sliced bread. If his job is to deal with displaced people, shouldn't he have been in the forefront of the Gaspacho team that encircled Kofi Annan in his futile search for that elusive refugee camp? Why was that daunting task left to the forever puzzled Mohammed Sehnoun and the fellow with African garb and outdated navigator sunglasses? Francis Deng is not just another Ding or Dong. Seriously, he is a distinguished scholar and an experienced diplomat. He has a lot to offer, if and when used in the right way and right place. What better role can he play than in his native Africa and -- indeed -- his own native country. He was a distinguished Permanent Representative of Sudan at the U.N. Why is he turning into an ineffective U.N. Special Representative? Take a stand man. If not now, when?