Empty Days

Saturday, March 20, 2004



Mass rape atrocity in west Sudan

Which is only the point of an iceberg: More than 100,000 people have fled across the border into Chad, but have continued to face cross-border raids.

I don't really know what's going on in that part of Africa but here is a brief description:
The conflict has pitted the Muslim north against Christians and animists in the south, leaving some 2m people dead.
What is the war about?
Apart from an 11-year period from 1972-1983, Sudan has been at war continuously since independence in 1956.
In 1983, the government dominated by northern Arabs tried to impose Islamic Sharia law across Sudan, even in areas where the majority is not Muslim.
This exacerbated a rebellion that had begun in the south, which is inhabited by black African Christians and those who practise traditional religions, although they are divided into many different ethnic groups.
This is a story that is repeated again and again in many parts of Africa, it seems. I have to wonder - why is there such an incredible reluctance (in the West, you bet) to allow these obviously fake post-colonial countries to break into national states? Why on earth do they need Sudan to stay exactly as it is when it would be better off *maybe* if it broke down according to national/cultural boundaries - since that's what the whole bloody fight is all about?

Check out why the US wants Sudan peace.

Apparently it takes vicious wars to bring about this sort of "unapproved-of" fragmentation. Remember Yugoslavia - a small country in Europe. Remember former USSR - if the West was allowed to meddle in the post-soviet national ruptures, I guess we'd see far longer wars than we did. Only small Chechnya was not allowed to go on its own way - the big Russian bear is still paying the price.

Must we maintain status-quo at any price? Because it's not a synonym for peace, you know. [ But really, I am so not-qualified to blather about this ]





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