Darfur & the failure to act

At the Labour Party conference in October 2001, shortly after the atrocities of 9/11, Tony Blair made this promise:

And I tell you if Rwanda happened again today as it did in 1993, when a million people were slaughtered in cold blood, we would have a moral duty to act there also. We were there in Sierra Leone when a murderous group of gangsters threatened its democratically elected Government and people.

And now, genocide has been committed in Darfur. Who says so? American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in testimony to Congress on 9 September 2004:

…genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Jingaweit bear responsibility."

And this did not come as a surprise. The violence erupted in February 2003; and by the summer of that year, Mukesh Kapila (a former colleague at DFID, and UN representative in Sudan) warned the world that a major humanitarian crisis was unfolding. And despite the promises, we did nothing.

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