Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Darfur: What is going on?

The atrocities in Darfur continues today. When is somebody going to do something?

The atrocities in Darfur are today well known after the world's media circus decided to consider the region as worthy of a visit in the light of horrendous atrocities perpetrated by Janjaweed Arab militia against Negroes.

The sheer scale of the problem is witnessed by the numbers of those affected: two and a half million people displaced and tens of thousands shot dead, burnt alive, raped or hacked to pieces.

The story was true to its two-week slot in the media, complete with front-page photographs of starving children and the TV images showing mothers cradling skeletal babies. The world grunted, said "How sad", shrugged its shoulders and moved on, to the start of the soccer season, the build-up to FIFA 2006 and the atrocities in Iraq.

Yet Darfur never went away. Today, the 11,000 humanitarian aid workers in the region are unable to fulfill their duties because of attacks on a daily basis. They are being robbed, they are being attacked, they are being threatened and they are being abducted. Civilians are being raped and killed. Every day.

Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General of the UNO for Humanitarian Affairs, declared on Thursday in Geneva that the 5,000 troops supplied by the African Union are not enough, and that three times this number is required to stop the violence.

He referred to the need of the international community to apply pressure on the government of Khartoum to force the Janjaweed to cease their atrocities. In recent days, there has been what the UN refugee agency describes as "an unprecedented attack" on thousands of refugees by Janjaweed militia, resulting in 29 deaths and 10 serious injuries.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, declared on Thursday that "As long as this insecurity continues, the international community cannot provide the assistance that is so desperately needed by hundreds of thousands of people".

What does the international community do? Nothing. Certain countries spend five hundred thousand million USD on weapons systems every single year, preferring to slaughter civilians than to help them.

The history book will judge Mankind for its callousness at this moment in time when words speak louder than actions. How much more suffering must the people of Darfur endure?

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