The Elders


Mission to Sudan

“We chose to go to Sudan for The Elders' first mission because we could not turn our eyes from the humanitarian crisis, and we wanted to join with the many people around the world who have worked to stop the atrocities, protect the people, and contribute to peace.” – The Elders

At the compound of the United Nations Missions in Sudan (UNMIS) in El-Fasher, Darfur, an African Union peacekeeper stands watch.

Desmond Tutu and Lakhdar Brahimi meet young Darfuris during their visit to Otash, a camp for internally displaced people in Nyala, Darfur.

At the Otash IDP camp in Nyala, Lakhdar Brahimi speaks to Darfuris.

Lakhdar Brahimi and Desmond Tutu meet representatives from civil society organisations in El-Fasher, Darfur.

During The Elders' visit to Darfur, Desmond Tutu tells Darfuris: "We want to help stop the suffering, especially that of our sisters and mothers. We know your greatest hunger is for peace and to move back to your homes."

While in Juba Lakhdar Brahimi and Graça Machel meet Salva Kiir Miyardit, President of the Government of Southern Sudan.

At a press conference concluding The Elders' mission to Sudan, Graça Machel tells reporters: "The government doesn't have an understanding of what it means when women say repeatedly to different people, 'We are being raped. We are being beaten. We are being brutalised. We are fearful.' I don't think the people we talked to understand."

The Elders’ visit to Sudan in October 2007 – their first mission after the group was founded – called the world’s attention to the region’s humanitarian crisis. Desmond Tutu, Lakhdar Brahimi, Jimmy Carter and Graça Machel demanded an end to the atrocities and displacement of millions of people, and urged greater protection for the victims of ongoing violence.

Photos: The Elders | Frederic Noy


Please read our moderation policy before commenting

  • All comments posted on will be moderated before publication.
  • In making comments, please be constructive and treat others with respect.
  • Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, inflammatory statements or accusations, personal attacks, discriminatory or abusive language will not be posted.
  • Links: Please do link to other relevant sites and articles to enrich the debate. Please do not link to inappropriate or offensive websites or use signature links in your post.
The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

Sign up to receive monthly newsletters from The Elders.

We will occasionally send you other special updates and news, but we'll never share your email address with third parties.

Visit the archive to see our past newsletters.

The Elders website uses cookies. Click here to accept the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy when visiting this site.