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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs