The Elders

Press release

Tutu, Carter and Machel report on The Elders' mission to Sudan

The Elders discuss peacekeeping and international justice in Darfur following their visit to Sudan in October 2007.

Desmond Tutu  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chair of The Elders said:

“The situation in Darfur and the Sudan is one that… cries out for help from the international community… We felt a moral imperative to join and contribute to the efforts of so many people… and make our contributions to the promotion of peace.”

Jimmy Carter  

Former US President Jimmy Carter said:

“We encourage the entire world community to put pressure on those who have influence in Khartoum and who have influence in Paris, for instance, to force the rebel leaders to participate [in the Darfur Peace Negotiations].”

Graca Machel


Graça Machel, Mozambique’s first education minister, said:

“The government of Sudan seemed not to understand the gravity of this reality [rape and gender-based violence], the realities of these women. I believe they don’t want to face it.”

International Criminal Court

Desmond Tutu  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:

“We hope that Sudan will indicate that it respects International Humanitarian Law and international institutions such as the ICC by agreeing to hand over the two people who have been indicted.”

Jimmy Carter  

Jimmy Carter said:

“Sudan flew in the face of the International Criminal Court by taking this indicted criminal… and giving him a promotion to a position which is ridiculous in that now he’s supposed to enforce human rights in the country where he’s already been indicted for gross violation of the same human rights.”


Jimmy Carter  

Jimmy Carter said:

“The most important thing that the international community can do is to make sure that the pledges of the United Nations to form UNAMID forces… be honored and that specialised support be provided on an urgent basis.

“All the countries that have influence with the Sudan government should combine their efforts to force the Sudan government to comply with these international laws and rules that have been promulgated by the United Nations Security Council and others.

“It’s very important for African leaders… to speak out strongly on UNAMID, sure, everyone agrees that African forces should be pre-eminent in the UNAMID force whenever they are capable of performing specific duties. But when there is a vacuum there… then other countries that volunteer their services – helicopters is a good example – should be welcomed in by the government of Sudan to fulfil the mandate of the United Nations Security Council”

Graca Machel


Graça Machel said:

“We are worried that obstacles are being raised to the effective deployment of these forces. As Africans, we appreciate the most of the forces will be African, but we also urge the government to accept the UN forces as quickly as possible and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and the African Union.”

North-South Peace

Jimmy Carter  

Jimmy Carter said:

“There is a real danger that this entire peace agreement will be broken down and that war will break out again between the North and South with devastating consequences.”

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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.

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