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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Darfur genocide needs to stop now

By Aaron Zundel

Both the United Nations and the United States have once again demonstrated their complete impotence when it comes to world affairs.

As of February 2003, 400,000 Sudanese citizens have been systematically slaughtered, and more than 2 million displaced from their homes. Yet, over the course of three years of bloody violence, all the United Nations has been able to accomplish is the passing of a joke resolution that, since the beginning of October, has become just as ineffective as the body that passed it. The resolution called for 20,000 peacekeepers to deploy to Sudan, but no effort has been made to enforce it.

And why not? Who cares about Sudan? Who even knows what Sudan is? Just ask the person sitting next to you where Darfur is and they’ll probably give you a blank stare. For those who are geographically handicapped, Sudan is a small country in Africa, and Darfur is its capitol. The country also happens to be the epicenter of the world’s latest genocide.

When the Rwandan massacre ended in 1994, after almost a million people had been butchered, the world hung its collective head in shame and muttered the motto “never again.” Since then, however, despite the phrase being repeated by politicians and leaders across the globe, nothing of substance has been done to stop the violence in Darfur. Sure, there have been a few sanctions put in place, but economic pressure is not enough to stop a country of people bent on genocide.

There are a million reasons given for the complete lack of international intervention, but the real reason is so much more depressing: Nobody cares. Instead of rape victims, CNN shows endless footage of John Mark Carr and Mark Foley. Instead of 400,000 civilians, protesters get their panties in a twist over 2,000 dead U.S. soldiers.

It’s time for that to stop.

The people of Darfur deserve better than half-measures of political action. Instead of sanctions, the United Nations should be rushing to put troops on the ground to stop the killing. Instead of campaigning for his political party, President Bush ought to be mobilizing NATO and any political allies that will listen. However, as citizens of the world, we also have a responsibility to speak out against such reprehensible injustice and violence. U students especially, as a group of educated, free-thinking individuals, have no excuse for remaining quiet about such atrocities. Stopping the genocide cold should be at the top of everyone’s political priority list.

The genocide in Darfur is only getting started, and without intervention soon, it’s likely to get much, much worse. As of Tuesday, Oct. 24, the United States has passed a resolution condemning the violence and imposed a few economic sanctions, but it’s just not enough.

History has shown us time and time again that the only time things get done in this country is when the citizens get so upset that their representatives must listen or face losing the next election. Luckily for the people of Darfur, elections in this country are right around the corner. Write your representatives and make your voice count.

Aaron Zundel

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