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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid