I’m finally doing my homework. And this will be another one of those document-to-blog entries. The information is mainly from Frontline’s “On Our Watch” program. Some of the facts may be outdated, mainly in the number of people affected by Darfur.
Darfur is the first genocide of the 21st century. It is seen as an “ethnic cleansing”. At least 200,000 have been killed, and millions are seeking refuge. The weapon of choice has been rape, supported by the Sudanese government. The world vowed “never again” after the genocide in Rwanda and atrocities in Srebrenica, Bosnia. So why is Darfur happening?
Darfur is in the western region of Sudan. Sudan already had been negotiating to end a civil war between the Muslim Khartoum government in the North and the Christian population in the South.
Just as one problem is being resolved, another breaks out. Rebel groups attack, rape, and kill the people in Darfur. Many have resorted to escaping to neighboring Chad for refuge. There are a lot of refugees, but not enough space for all of them.
In 2003 to 2004, U.N. Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan Mukesh Kapila wrote dozens of memos to his superiors at the U.N., informing them of the problems at Darfur. The first memo, dated Dec. 13, 2003, describes emergency relocation to Kapila and his staff, and the obstruction of humanitarian efforts by Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. A memo dated March 22, 2004, describes “”ethnic cleansing,” “systematic forced displacement,” and “large scale armed violence and incidents of murder, rape, torture and abduction directed specifically against populations of black African tribal origin”. The memo estimated a total of 110,000 refugees and about 600,000-700,000 displaced persons.
Some of the U.N. leaders didn’t want to break the peace process between Northern and Southern Sudan, which could end the 21-year war. So Darfur was kept hidden until the civil war was settled. The idea was that once peace was made, the political side of Darfur could be settled. The peace negotiations went on for a year. By that time, the worst of Darfur was already over.
The timing was done on purpose. Kapila spoke to the government in Khartoum, who admitted that they were delaying the North-South peace agreements because they wanted to have a “lasting solution in Darfur”.
The issue came up at the U.N. Security Council. Sudan wasn’t afraid, because they had allies like Russia and China. Those allies didn’t necessarily support Sudan’s actions, but they would not act against them. The United Nations was ineffective at stopping anything.
The United States stood up, but many internationals look down at the U.S. for the war in Iraq. The only thing left to do was for ordinary people to do something. And with that, one effective target to attack was China. Activists targeted China’s pride, the 2008 Olympic Games. They named it the “Genocide Olympics”, and ensured that the event would not be pleasant.
China gave in, and ordered 26,000 U.N. and African union troops to Darfur by the end of 2007. But for many people in the refugee camps in Chad, this protection has come too late. The damage has been done, and there’s no way to fix that.
In 2005, the U.N. issued a “responsibility to protect” doctrine, which says if crimes against humanity are occurring within a nation’s borders, the world community can intervene- with force if necessary.
Darfur was an event that should’ve never happened, especially after what happened in Rwanda and Bosnia. The U.N. should’ve stepped in right when this was beginning. The government of Sudan should’ve never been trusted, who purposely delayed their peace agreements just to see what would happen in Darfur.
It’s pathetic to see that countries do not stand up for this kind of actions. In this world and time, for genocide to occur for four years is just unbelievable. The U.N was warned, but didn’t do anything. The United States wanted to step in, but the world turned them down because of the war in Iraq. I don’t see any other country trying to fix a humanitarian crisis.
By late 2004, the U.N. has passed several resolutions, but Sudan, due to their backings by China and Russia, doesn’t feel the need to comply. That should’ve been the eye-opener for every country. Thousands continue to die, and yet no one does anything?
It is not until 2007 that finally troops are sent in. But even then, the Sudanese government had denied their actions, and refused to let anyone intervene. As the program aired in 2007, the genocide continues. In 2008, those involved are finally prosecuted. But it is too late to reverse the destruction.
I thought the U.N. had always had a “responsibility to protect” doctrine. Crimes against humanities should be stopped when it begins, not four years later. There’ doesn’t need to be a doctrine to protect human lives; it’s a duty nations have to uphold. The lack of response shocks me, and makes me rethink the role of the U.N. Sure, they keep nations together, but the handling of affairs is downright inefficient.
I hope that this is the last genocide to occur in my lifetime.
In Darfur’s case, only the U.S. had the balls to fight for human rights. Unlike the rest of the world who just shriveled up like the bitches they are. Hate the U.S., but know that when there’s a problem, we’ll be rolling in for the right thing.
Screw these “no violence” pansy tactics. No nation has the right to just freely disobey laws and kill people for four damn years. The U.N. didn’t do anything. Why? Because they’re just a bunch of cowards advocating “peace”. The world should not back down to a country that thinks it can get away with genocide.
If I have to join the military to prevent the next genocide, then by all means I will. It’s my duty as a person of this planet to protect the lives of other human beings. Throwing money won’t do shit.
Can people buy their severed arms back? No.
Can people buy their dead children back? No.
Can genocide be prevented and stopped before it turns into hell? Yes.