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

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid