Magazine article New Internationalist

UN Fails to Act on Genocide: Crisis in Darfur - History in the Remaking

Magazine article New Internationalist

UN Fails to Act on Genocide: Crisis in Darfur - History in the Remaking

Article excerpt

ONLY ten years after the Rwandan genocide, history threatens to repeat itself in the little known region of Darfur in western Sudan.

Since early 2003, Government-supported militia known as the janjawid have raped, killed and pillaged, leaving villages devastated and thousands dead in their wake.

As the janjawid have attacked by land, the Sudanese army has conducted air raids on Darfurian civilian centres. The region is in dire need of emergency assistance to counter acute shortfalls in food, shelter, clean water and healthcare.

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that the funds supporting relief efforts in Sudan have been exhausted. This Office places the number of internally displaced persons at a staggering one million people. In addition, more than 100,000 have fled to neighbouring Chad via the country's eastern border.

A ceasefire agreement signed between Darfurian rebels and the Sudanese Government in April 2004 has already been broken. International relief agencies have found their access to Government-controlled areas in Darfur is being inhibited.

As a consequence of this carnage, the Government and the predominantly Arab janjawid militia now stand accused of methodically wiping out villages inhabited by people of black origin. …

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