The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

World Must Not Turn a Blind Eye to Darfur

Posted by thelamp on September 19, 2006

Diplomats and world leaders are converging on New York this week for the 61st General Assembly of the United Nations. The ongoing turmoil in the Middle East likely will dominate diplomatic conversations. Peace in that region is of utmost importance; but while seeking peace there, the world must not turn a blind eye to another conflict-ridden region – the province of Darfur in Sudan.

The situation in Darfur, where war erupted in early 2003, is nothing short of genocide. To date, 200,000 people have been brutally killed, and another two million are rendered homeless because of the conflict. Neither the Sudanese government nor the rebels are protecting civilians, particularly women.

“These are not just crimes against humanity; they are abominable acts against God,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. “His children near and far are agonizing over the desperation and hopelessness in Sudan. The UN needs to act, and quickly.”

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on the world organization’s Human Rights Council to focus as much attention on the tragic situation in Darfur as it has on the crises in the Middle East.

According to Louise Arbour, the UN high commissioner for human rights, the warring parties don’t bother to discriminate between civilians and combatants. In fact, they specifically target civilians from tribes and groups perceived as hostile.

“Despite repeated assurances by the government of Sudan, the level of sexual violence in Darfur continues to rise. No progress is made in holding anyone accountable for these and other crimes,” Arbour said Monday at a Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland.

It’s time for the international community to protect innocent lives from militia. How can the world continue to sit by and do nothing while women are snatched from refugee shelters and raped? Although the Sudanese government denies that it is responsible for the violence, it has not acted to bring it to an end.

UN peacekeepers are needed to protect civilians from mounting atrocities. President Bush is on solid moral ground to ask for a resolution enabling the African Union troops in the region to become a United Nations peacekeeping force. This is something the UN General Assembly can — and must –accomplish.



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