Saturday 25 May 2013

Darfur - lest we forget

So far this year, an estimated 300,000 people have fled their homes in Sudan’s Darfur region according to the United Nations.    After a peace deal was signed in 2011, violence had died down, but not out.
Altogether, about 1.4 million people are now homeless, and 300,000 are believed to have died since the conflict began in 2003.  While on a visit to a refugee camp, the UN’s top humanitarian official, Valerie Amos, said the situation was ‘extremely worrying’.
She said displaced people faced chronic food shortages, and had to walk in fierce heat to get water.  They also lacked access to health care and education, while rebels were obstructing the distribution of aid.
The conflict began with rebels complaining that the Sudanese government favoured Arabs and oppressed black Africans.  Since it started, the mainly Arab Janjaweed militia has been accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing and genocide, and President al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.
(See also my blogs of March 4, 5 March, 6 Aug, 21 Sept, 2009 and 27 May 2010.)
* The fifth in my series of videos on Britain’s 20 Worst Military Disasters features the Battle of Hastings.

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