Taking Responsibility for Your Own Continent

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

Both American Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan are now in the Darfur region of Sudan, in order to draw attention to what has been called one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises ever, the assaults on the black Sudanese people there by Arab “Janjaweed” militias has resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people since February, 2003, the displacement from their homes of one million, rape on a massive scale, and similar horrors. And the US government has introduced a UN Security Council resolution calling for international sanctions – an arms embargo, travel restrictions – against those militias.

If nothing else, this bringing-together in one out-of-the-way spot of two of the world’s most prominent and powerful figures is succeeding in attracting press attention to a conflict most of the world has up to now preferred to ignore. Strangely, that also includes countries in what you could call the immediate neighborhood; and in its coverage today (Ethnic Cleansing/Africa Ignores Sudan) the Dutch newspaper Trouw brings to light and examines this attitude. (more…)

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