News / Africa

Aid Agencies: World Has Forgotten Darfur Conflict

Aid Agencies Say the World Has Forgotten Darfuri
X
March 06, 2013 8:42 PM
It has now been ten years since the the Darfur region of Sudan erupted in conflict. Aid agencies say the international community has forgotten about the war and the millions of Sudanese forced from their homes, as attention has turned to the Arab Spring. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Henry Ridgwell
It's been 10 years since the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan broke out.  Aid agencies say the international community has forgotten about the war and the millions of refugees forced from their homes, as attention has turned to the Arab Spring. 
 
An estimated 300,000 people have died in the decade-long conflict in Darfur, most of them civilians.  Almost two million have fled their homes. 
 
Abakar Adam has lived in a refugee camp near the town of El Fasher since the fighting began in 2003.
 
"If things go well and peace comes I'll return one day and will stay here no more," he said.  "But the first thing we need is the disarmament of the people who carry weapons." 
 
It's a conflict the world has largely forgotten, says Andrej Mahecic of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR.
 
"Often the donors' attention, and attention of the world in general, tends to go towards the most visible and most dramatic and current crisis.  But the fact of the matter is we are now dealing in Darfur with a protracted situation; it's been now 10 years, the needs are still there," he said. 
 
The conflict began with a crackdown on rebel uprisings in Darfur by government-backed militia known as the "Janjaweed."  
 
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes against civilians in Darfur,  denies the accusations. 
 
As the conflict enters its second decade, the United States has called for an effective and inclusive political process.
 
Andrej Mahecic of the UNHCR said, "Since January this year, we have seen about 100,000 people fleeing the [latest] round of violence.  On the other hand, there are areas such as West Darfur which are enjoying relative peace and stability, and we have seen almost a quarter of a million people returning since the beginning of 2011. So it is a very different, a fluid situation."
 
The charity Kids For Kids helps families to stay in their remote villages by loaning goats and donkeys, while building basic services like water pumps. 
 
Its founder, Patricia Parker, says just small donations make a difference, but they've fallen away in recent years.
 
"People think that because Darfur hasn't been in the news, that it must be all right," she said. "So they've moved on to other things.  There are other disasters elsewhere in the world.  What is a tragedy is that these families are beyond deprivation, beyond poverty." 
 
Parker says rocketing inflation in Sudan has halved the income of many households, making life even tougher.
 
"The indirect effects of violence are actually worse - and they're out of sight - than you can possibly imagine," she said. "We had the tragic news that in a very small village of just 2,000 people, 50 children died of malnutrition alone.  That didn't allow for malaria and all the other things that we know are terrible killers in places like Darfur."
 
On the tenth anniversary of the Darfur conflict, aid agencies say the fighting and the suffering continue - unseen and forgotten.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid