Saturday, April 16, 2011

CRS resumes work in Darfur

Catholic Relief Services is resuming operations in Western Darfur more than two months after evacuating its staff. Earlier, the government had asked CRS to leave because it said it could not guarantee staffers’ security. CRS remained in Darfur in 2009 when the government expelled 13 other aid agencies.

If CRS had closed its program, more than 400,000 people would have been without food.
More than 70,000 people have fled fighting in Darfur, increasing the numbers of displaced.

The agency’s work in Darfur began after two insurgent groups largely aligned with African farming communities formed to fight what they claimed was the region’s historical marginalization from the Arab-dominated central government, as well as to lay their claim for a rightful share of the region’s mineral wealth.

The government responded by arming Arab nomads, ostensibly to counter the threat of the insurgency. Yet Arab militias — known as Janjaweed, or “devils on horseback” — also turned their weapons against innocent civilians.

No comments: