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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

When will we ever learn?

We’ve just commemorated the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica. Ten years later what has changed?

It was after the Nazis massacred millions upon millions of Jews in World War II that the world united and said: never again. But then there was East Pakistan. And Cambodia. And Rwanda. And Bosnia. Then Srebrenica. Millions more dead. After the fact everyone is sorry, we should of done something, but you know… next time we’ll be quick to stop it. Next time…

There was a next time for the people of Cambodia. There was a next time for the people of Rwanda. There was a next time for the people of Bosnia. And there was a next time for the Muslims in Srebrenica. And now there is a next time for the people of the Darfur region in Sudan. The first genocide of the twenty-first century.

Less than one hundred years after millions of Jews were massacred and the world said never again the Sudanese government is massacring its own citizens. Colin Powell called the actions genocide but the U.S. has done incredibly little to end it. The UN has condemned it but can’t be bothered doing anything major about it, either. Kofi Annan recently said the international reaction to the atrocities in Sudan were pathetic and inexcusable. Sounds a lot like what Annan said about the Rwandan genocide on that massacre’s tenth anniversary. History repeating, repeating, repeating…

Yeah, don’t worry, the next time it happens we’ll do something about it. Promise.

Darfur: A Genocide we can stop
Over a million people, driven from their homes, now face death from starvation and disease as the Government and militias attempt to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching them. The same forces have destroyed the people of Darfur's villages and crops, and poisoned their water supplies, and they continue to murder, rape and terrorize.

Human Rights Watch: Sudan

BBC: Kofi Annan interview transcript

BBC: In pictures: Srebrenica memorial

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