Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sudanese Genocide Attention Fatigue?

By Austin Bay

Remember Darfur, site of the genocide in Western Sudan? Two years ago, in August 2009, the then-United Nations peacekeeping force commander claimed the war in Darfur had "effectively ended." He argued that major attacks had declined to the point that he thought the war would soon be over.

This month, September 2011, the U.N. issued a press statement that said attacks had declined 70 percent since late 2008.

Which, given the continued bloodletting, is an awkward way of saying that the war really isn't over. And it isn't. The Sudanese government -- meaning the Islamist Sudanese government seated in Khartoum, for there is now a separate South Sudan -- still occasionally employs heavily armed militias as proxy forces to attack, kill and disperse Darfuri civilians. Sudan's air force still launches air raids on rebel forces in Darfur and indiscriminately drop bombs in holdout rebel villages.

There are two reasons attacks have declined. The first is that the northern Sudanese government has driven several hundred thousand pro-rebel Darfuris from their land. They are now either dead or in refugee camps.

The second reason: The northern government is now engaged in several other wars against Sudanese civilians or former Sudanese civilians. In May, about six weeks before South Sudan became independent, Sudan attacked and occupied the Abyei area, a disputed border zone between the two nations. Over 100,000 people fled south to escape the northern attack. After U.N. sponsored negotiations, both sides agreed to let Ethiopia deploy a peacekeeping force in Abyei. Ethiopia, which borders both Sudans, does not want to see the north-south confrontation expand into a wider regional war. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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