We would like to think that genocides don’t happen as common as they do and that they receive attention from the international community, but that is not necessarily true. There are still genocides taking place around the world and one that we heard about but have ‘lost’ interestin is the genocide taking place in Darfur. Darfur located in Sudan started seeing the killings beginning in 2003 and though during that time there was a lot of media coverage, it went away, just as quickly. There are many questions that arise as to why there has not been more mentioned in regards to the atrocity taking place, but at the same time it is easy to say that it is complicated and will always be so for the events are taking place on a continent that does not hold much interest for the West and there is more or less a history of these events happening throughout in various countries. With that being said, there would be many that would argue against my statement and it is welcomed but there are some truths to what I am saying.

For starters, the United States, as well as many western nations have had an interesting relationship with the African continent and some of its various countries. From the standpoint of the United States, there has been this intrigue of the continent and the countries, but no real interest into them or of many of their affairs, until there proved to be a problem that could not be ignored further. Looking at it from the standpoint of genocides, the United States has and did not do much in the way of condemning the actions and trying to figure out viable solutions that would create change. On the other hand, many European states have had a different approach when it comes to the continent and its countries on the part that they wanted to extend their empires. Extending one’s empire takes time, resources, and some force depending on where they are going and in the case of the African continent, extending the empire became an affair that was both easy for the more dominant nations to do, as well as being hard to maintain in the long run.

Due to those influences there have been many issues that have rendered their heads within the continent and in many of the previously colonized countries in general. One of those issues deals with ethnicity. Ethnic killingshave happened in multiple countries throughout the continent for a variety of reasons, but a glaring one comes down to favoritism, especially where it concerns the government and the perceived way that certain laws/rules/regulations effect one side a certain group. It is definitely more complicated then I have written it and involves many more factors, but this is not the place to go into great detail about it all especially when it is hard to discern motivations though there are trends that could be gleamed. Now, it might be pertinent to say that colonization is important when thinking of the reasons for the fact, that the colonizing countries did tend to favor certain groups over others and that in essence created a social hierarchy, that could not be easily broken and that in turn leads to some people taking actions and causing a civil war.

Hearing about a civil war taking place in this time, seems a bit strange but is so common place that it is hard to think of why it is not discussed openly. It could be argued that a civil war is the mark of transitioning the state/country from its current stance to a new one that could be better or worse off. Western European nations went through it within the region and the United States had one as well, but as we can see even at the conclusion of one the problems do not simply go away and that could easily allow for the conditions to repeat themselves and break out into war again. Thinking about it deeper, there is a perpetuating cycle that cannot seem to be broken which is problematic for the fact that lessons are not being learned and the same mistakes are constantly being made.

In general, this issueis an important one, like all that deal with genocides and the ‘symptoms’ typically associated with it. Though Darfur is the example that I use, it is only a small facet of the problem at hand. The genocide has been taking place for years and receives no real international coverage anymore, the issues deeply rooted around policies towards the African continent have yet to be addressed, and there is a bias towards a continent that major parts of it have been deemed as ‘developing’ nations. It is simply contradictive to condemn others for committing the same acts, but ignoring them, when they take place on the African continent. Despite the past, there needs to be more inclusivity when caring about the affairs and rights of people on the African continent. It deserves our attention, just as any other state and gives the message that what is happening is okay, when nothing is said or done. It would be the hope that lessons were learned from Rwanda and the countless other atrocities that have taken place, but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case yet.

 

Relevant Articles:

Darfur Genocide

5 Genocides Still Taking Place Today

Ten Facts about the Darfur Genocide

Resources:

Lynch, Colum. “’They Just Stood Watching’.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 7 Apr. 2014, foreignpolicy.com/2014/04/07/they-just-stood-watching-2/.

Reeves, Eric. “Darfur, the Most ‘Successful’ Genocide in a Century.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Apr. 2017, 10:13 am, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/darfur-the-most-successful-genocide-in-a-century_us_58fa0eb9e4b086ce58980fe3.ources.

Straus, Scott. “Darfur and the Genocide Debate.” Foreign Affairs, Foreign Affairs Magazine, 29 Jan. 2009, www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/sudan/2005-01-01/darfur-and-genocide-debate.


Layna is a Graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in international studies with a concentration in foreign policy and international relations, as well as her women’s studies certificate. She is an avid deep thinker, concerned with the changes in our global society, the relations between nations, the changing tide of politics and leadership, as well as the empowerment and unity of women globally. Besides what is mentioned, she has a wide variety of interests and passions that change and grow with time, as well as the events she
finds herself focusing on the most. Her background is filled with multiple anecdotes of living and traveling abroad, which those experiences have shaped who she is and influenced her thoughts and perceptions about the world, how we treat each other, and interact. Layna can typically be found reading about the history of global war, walking dogs, or enjoying nature.