The World Today for July 13, 2021
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Around 18 years ago, the Sudanese region of Darfur was synonymous with violence and tragedy.
Not much has changed.
Violence continues to mar the region today. “The expression ‘forgotten crisis’ is a problematic one – no crisis is forgotten by the people living through it, nor the local journalists who cover it, week in week out, year after year,” wrote the New Humanitarian.
The Sudanese civil war in Darfur pit an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed versus non-Arab Sudanese ethnic groups, with the former enjoying government support. Hundreds of thousands died and more than 2 million were displaced.
The United Nations declared a genocide while the International Criminal Court labeled then-Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir a war criminal and sought to arrest him – a first against a sitting head of state.
In a bid to put the sad episode behind them, Sudanese leaders recently promised to hand al-Bashir and other alleged war criminals over to the court, the BBC reported. Mass protests led the military to oust him in 2019. He’s now in prison on corruption charges.
But they have yet to extradite the former president, identify others to face justice in the Netherlands or, as the Institute for Security Studies explained via AllAfrica news outlet, sign international conventions to make it easier for Sudan to cooperate with international authorities.
Tragically, Darfur has yet to achieve peace, too. Gunmen attacked the Kirinding camp for internally displaced people in the region twice in the past year, killing more than 100 people, burning homes and forcing 50,000 people to run for their lives, wrote Al Jazeera.
Many Sudanese feel cheated. They rose up to topple their dictator and see their leaders taking steps to make amends but the situation in Darfur is still catastrophic. They wanted closure. Yet, in the New York Times, Sudanese folks said the government still had not released findings on people whom al-Bashir killed during the unrest a few years ago.
“They’re intentionally delaying the results,” said Muez Mohammed, whose brother security forces fatally shot in 2019. “Everyone knows who killed the people.”
And, as the Janjaweed keep rampaging, non-Arab rebels groups who started the fighting years ago are still waging what they view as a battle against oppressive rulers who only want to protect, empower and benefit their Arab constituents, added Agence France-Presse.
It will take more than a few people in prison for Sudan to atone.
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