the Darfur conflict

21 11 2006

I don’t watch a lot of news on TV, but I try to keep up-to-date by glancing over news headlines online every day and reading certain articles.  But I just recently heard about the genocide happening in the Darfur region of western Sudan.  This is really sad :

Darfur has been embroiled in a deadly conflict for over three years. At least 400,000 people have been killed; more than 2 million innocent civilians have been forced to flee their homes and now live in displaced-persons camps in Sudan or in refugee camps in neighboring Chad; and more than 3.5 million men, women, and children are completely reliant on international aid for survival. Not since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has the world seen such a calculated campaign of displacement, starvation, rape, and mass slaughter. … In August 2006, the UN’s top humanitarian official Jan Egeland stated that the situation in Darfur is “going from real bad to catastrophic.”

I know we can’t get involved in every civil war, and it’s not our country’s place to always dictate what should happen in other countries’ conflicts, but there’s 3.5 million people who need help.  That’s a lot of people who are suffering while two groups of people fight over their differences.

A United Nations observer noted how the attack is specifically against non-Arab villages :

The 23 Fur villages in the Shattaya Administrative Unit have been completely depopulated, looted and burnt to the ground (the team observed several such sites driving through the area for two days). Meanwhile, dotted alongside these charred locations are unharmed, populated and functioning Arab settlements. In some locations, the distance between a destroyed Fur village and an Arab village is less than 500 meters.

Isn’t that sad?

The United Nations has offered to send a peace-keeping force of up to 22,500 troops and police, but the government there has refused it.  So what should be done?  Should we try to force some semblance of morality on them?  I know that’s a controversial call, but it’s difficult to see millions of people lose everything and suffer just because of other people’s hate…

If you want to read more on this, here’s a Wikipedia link and a group called Save Darfur.

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