What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The slow Rwanda

In Rwanda 1,000,000 people were slaughtered by extremist Hutu militia groups - making it one of the world's largest genocides. The Rwandan genocide is outstanding - not only because of its dimension, but also due to the international community's poor response to the atrocities. During the mass murder the UN was paralyzed; unable to reach an agreement on how to react. The consequence being a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus lost their lives during only 100 days in the spring of 1994.

In spite more than 10 years have passed since the genocide in Rwanda brutal war still haunts Africa. The gallery of Danish photographer Jan Grarup makes it evident; war is not over. We Westerners are just good at ignoring it.

At this moment another serious conflict takes place in Africa; the Darfur province in Sudan. According to an estimate by the UN more than 400,000 people have died and around 2 million more have lost their homes since the conflict began in 2003 (source: wikipedia.org). A genocide that, according to many experts, is orchestrated by the Sudanese government. In spite having had three years to come up with a response the international community has again failed to intervene - hereby allowing the Darfur conflict to turn into a 'slow Rwanda'.

Relief aid is by many regarded as useless, even as something that supports the conflict, since corruption directs the stream of money from the West into the pockets of the Sudanese government. According to the Danish, independent campaign 'Save Darfur' up to 95 percent of the emergency aid from the Danish government has ended in the hands of war-makers.

For sure, war is not over.

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