Numbers

I’ve been noticing that news reports characterize the violence in Darfur as having started four-and-a-half years ago. But Darfur is the western region of Sudan, the same Sudan which was torn apart by a civil war between its northern and southern halves in the 1980s. This is the very war that forced some 26,000 Lost Boys (and thousands of Lost Girls) to march to their deaths only to be “saved” in refugee camps. And this is the same war in which 2.2 million people already died, before the 200,000 in Darfur.

In 2005, the U.S. brokered a peace treaty that stopped the fighting between north and south. The Bush administration cites this act as one of its major foreign policy triumphs. Not surprisingly, Sudan’s oil rich lands (producing more than 600,000 barrels per day) are mostly in the now calmed, debilitated south. Not surprisingly, the U.S. has yet to work its magic in Khartoum, where key figures in governmental posts continue to provide us with “substantial” intelligence on al Qaeda.

What does it say that our supposed triumph has done nothing to rebuild the wasteland Sudan has become or to bring four million refugees home? The peace treaty has only left the people to fight amongst themselves while outsiders swoop in for their reward.

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