Mali only waited months, why has Darfur suffered for a decade? This is the question asked by Hussain Begira, Chairman for Darfur Union in the UK and Ireland.
In his article published on CNN yesterday, he points out the fact that ‘Military intervention in Mali has been swift — it took only a few months for foreign forces to step in to start helping the population. Yet 10 years ago, the conflict in Darfur began. Many Darfuris are still waiting for the international community to help stop the bloodshed and ethnic cleansing.‘ So, to the question: ‘Why the rush to help Mali while Darfur has suffered for a decade?‘, Begira answers: ‘Quite simply, the answer is fear.‘
The U.N. estimates that 300,000 Darfuris have died since 2003, but it hasn’t bothered to estimate casualty numbers since 2008. With fighting continuing to this day, the number is likely to be far higher. However, since these human-rights violations occur in a media vacuum the world assumes “Darfur is over.” It isn’t — and won’t be until the international community stops applying a lesser standard to Darfuris than to others who have needed its help.
The conflict in Darfur began 10 years ago. Several organizations (including the Darfur Union, Waging Peace, Enough Project) are launching the Darfur10 campaign to put the war-torn region back onto the international agenda. On March 10-11, Act for Sudan is hosting the Sudan Emergency Action Summit and if you have subscribed to our Newsletter, you have been invited to join us to watch and discuss the Summit.
Hussain Begira concludes: ‘Media outlets are already publishing retrospectives on Darfur, 10 years on. But for the inhabitants of this blighted land, we are still staring the conflict in the face — every day. It’s time to take action.‘