U.S. announces new chief envoy to Darfur

Charismatic teen star of Hannah Montana injects new hope into peace process in troubled Sudan region


By Mondo Fernando, Staff Reporter


Rebels in Darfur - ready to negotiate a peace settlement?KARTHOUM – Miley Cyrus, the 15-year-old star of the hit TV series Hannah Montana, will represent the United States in peace talks with rebel leaders in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region next week.


The popular singer and actress, who plays a pop star who poses as a regular teen to fit into her high school, will take a break from her regular filming schedule to serve her country on this important mission.


Cyrus will join U.N. envoy for Sudan, Jan Eliasson, in negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the protracted violence among Darfur’s rebel groups. The announcement comes a month after the deployment of a combined U.N.-A.U. peacekeeping force which has failed to stem the violence in the region.


Hannah Montana, the new pace of peace in AfricaMiley Cyrus brings with her impressive diplomatic credentials. As a successful actress on the Disney Channel for three years running, Cyrus has experience in lengthy contract negotiations with proud, intractable, and powerful decision-makers. 


By playing a character who leads a double life, Cyrus has a proven ability to lie with ease and manipulate without reservation – essential qualities in the world of diplomatic negotiation.


Finally, and most importantly, as the star of America’s most popular show among children ages 6 to 14, Cyrus has demonstrated tremendous magnetism and personal appeal among the same age group that characterises most of the members of Sudanese rebel groups.


“I’m so gonna kick some butt!” commented Cyrus, with her agent quickly clarifying that she was referring to accelerating progress in the stalled peace talks.


Cyrus is expected to use her finely honed singing, dancing, and comedy skills in the peace process that seeks to bring an end to the violence which flared after rebels took up arms in 2003. As her first move upon arriving in Sudan, she is scheduled to perform for an assembly of rebel leaders her latest hit single, Drop your machete and take my hand.


“The announcement of a new U.S. envoy signals a renewed commitment to the peace talks, and an appreciation of the gravity of the ongoing crisis by the Bush government,” commented Sherif Herir, a top leader in the Sudan Liberation Army.


“We feel a renewed sense of optimism.” 

Cyrus was U.S. State Department’s second choice for the job, after Hillary Duff turned down the opportunity citing “conflict of interest” with her new line of designer combat artillery for teens, which is slated for release this summer.


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