Note: The reference to an "external player" mentioned in para 2 was to political appointees from USAID. They were trying to prevent a Darfur negotiation from moving forward unless it was folded into the North-South peace process. These USAID officials were pro-SPLM and very much opposed to the Khartoum regime. They saw bringing the Darfur conflict into the wider negotiations with the government as a way to increase pressure on it and perhaps further dismember Sudan. These USAID appointees came from the Christian fundamentalist NGO community supportive of the SPLM as Christian black Africans vs Islamic Arabs. They originally sought to keep Darfur off our agenda because they saw it as a distraction to the "main show."
The following is from my journal entry for March 8. The "perfect storm" I was hoping to avoid was the reaction from USAID Washington to our joint EU/US effort to get Darfur talks going without bringing in extra issues.