The forgotten war has just turned 10 years old, but of course almost no one took notice.
Since early 2003, at least 300,000 people have been killed. More than 2 million others have been forced from their homes. And day by day, even now, the problems are worsening.
More people fled to feculent refugee camps in the first two months of 2013 than in all of the previous year. The reason: intensifying aerial bombardments and indiscriminate military raids.
The surviving victims of this terrible, unending conflict are suffering from multiple illnesses, including tuberculosis, malaria, scabies, night blindness, typhoid -- even leprosy, the region's health minister recently declared. The people are especially vulnerable, he added, because of widespread malnutrition -- even starvation. And yet for nearly everyone, health care is unavailable.
No, the war no one recalls is in
Surprised? Almost nothing has changed since
And so it continues: Just a few days ago,
For 10 years there's been no shortage of sympathetic rhetoric. Beyond that, though, nothing effective has been done. And without question that's only because of one man:
The conflict in
Back then, the world was slow to react, but in
Then, in 2009, the International Criminal Court indicted Bashir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes. He refused to face the charges, though he is subject to arrest whenever he leaves the country.
Well, by 2009, the world had turned away. The U.S. sidelined the problem by appointing special envoys, one after another "in soap-opera fashion," a
Little if any attention was paid to
The lack of attention to this decade-long horror is now proving to be a severe problem for aid agencies working to keep millions of Darfuris alive.
Even under indictment, Bashir still travels widely, to
The next time Bashir takes a trip, if someone would simply arrest him, that would save uncounted thousands of lives.
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(c) 2013 Distributed By Tribune Media Services, Inc. "Victims of Forgotten War Need the World's Attention"