Darfur – terrifying prospects

TIME and again, we have leveraged this space to join the international outcry over the senseless violence in Darfur. Of late, as the Sudanese government’s efforts to hunt down runaway rebels have intensified, a regional catastrophe is becoming a very real possibility.

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Published: Mon 23 Jul 2007, 8:31 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:56 AM

Therefore, it is with good reason that a very perturbed international community is reminding the UN and other power brokers of the urgency to act immediately lest the spillover assumes the proverbial snowball effect.

Apparently, the rebels followed the refugees right into their newfound safe heavens in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR). In the latter especially, the weak government is growing increasingly disturbed over reports that while laying low and getting stronger, rebels from Darfur have been making deals with their counterparts in the new sanctuary. Should this partnership materialise, a long drawn guerilla war is in store for the region, where death and destruction is already in abundance.

There is something unnerving about the unenviable fortunes of the Africans. In most of the continent, the people have been battered well beyond subsistence, therefore have little strength to stand up and stem the tide. Their leaders, on the other hand, are seemingly more comfortable in squeezing the life out of already very troubled citizens than come round as community servers.

The madness in Darfur has gone on for years now. Still, deaths are a daily occurrence. And it does not reflect too well on the international community, let alone the Africans, that rather than receding, the conflict is now on the verge of spreading. The CAR itself is a place right out of far away history. It’s practically without credible infrastructure, or even roads, and the government doesn’t often dare step out of the capital. Its people have more than their fair share of problems, and a merciless guerilla war – for which it presents a near perfect geographic setting – is one thing they can and should do without.

Now is the most crucial time. If everybody looking does not chip in for a concrete effort, the near future is likely to require a much bigger effort from the same parties, because the conflict would have grown, in size as well as in intensity.

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