About Alex de Waal
In 2005, Sudan expert Alex de Waal was asked to join the African Union (AU) mediation team tasked with negotiating an end to conflict in Darfur, Sudan.
By spring 2006, several rounds of talks between the Sudanese government and leaders of the three main rebel groups had been held. International pressure was building as the parties to the conflict and mediators from the AU, European Union, United States, and Great Britain gathered in Abuja, Nigeria. De Waal witnessed the culmination of these talks during an all-night session of increasingly dramatic and tense exchanges.
In the end, the Sudanese government and only one rebel leader signed.
Years later, although several more rounds of negotiations have taken place, there has been no comprehensive peace settlement for Darfur.