Disaster in the Sudan
Sudan is in crisis. Sudanese government-backed militias are committing ethnic cleansing, systematic rape and other atrocities in the Darfur region.
The catastrophe began when black rebels started attacking government targets early in 2003, claiming that the Arab-dominated government was neglecting the region (bbc News, July 7). The government and black populations in the Sudan have been at odds for a long time. By attacking government targets, Darfur’s rebels invited a government response—and what a horrific response they got!
More than a million people have been forced to leave their homes, many setting up temporary camps on the Chad-Sudan border. About 30,000 have already died. Andrew Natsios, head of the U.S. Agency for International Aid, expects that number will rise to at least 300,000 even if conditions do improve because so many are malnourished beyond help (Stratfor, June 29).
At the African Union summit in July, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned some 40 African leaders, “Without action, the brutalities already inflicted on the civilian population of Darfur could be a prelude to even greater humanitarian catastrophe—a catastrophe that could destabilize the region” (Associated Press, July 6).
Yet, at this point, the UN won’t declare this as genocide. Why? Because the international community does not want to get involved militarily. Under a 1948 UN convention, genocide in any country requires other member countries to intervene; it would be illegal not to act. Even the 53-nation African Union (AU) has committed only 300 troops to protect its military observers. While there has been diplomatic pressure from the U.S., the AU and the UN, it is too little, too late.
Meanwhile, the Darfur rebel groups have set six conditions for peace talks. By the time these conditions are met, the 1.2 million refugees may already be cut off from food supplies by Darfur’s rainy season. As of this writing, early rounds of peace talks have collapsed completely.
Africa cannot get the type of world attention it needs today. In the future though, the African people will receive the attention of the world’s great powers, which will come not as saviors but to exploit African resources.
After the European “king of the north” overcomes the Islamic “king of the south” (Daniel 11:40), the natural wealth of these African nations will be at Europe’s disposal. “But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (verse 43). This is a major reason the many problems in Africa can only be solved in one way: by the return of Jesus Christ to Earth.