February 24, 2024

Sudan: indifference kills

The eyes of the world are on Gaza, where some 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in the in Israel’s response to the Hamas terror attack on October 7. The fighting and bombardment have been going on for more than six weeks. Hospitals have been bombed; healthcare is almost non-existent.

But the same is happening in Sudan, on a much larger scale and more slowly. Over the past six months, an inexplicable power struggle between two warlords armed with the best kit money can buy has devastated Khartoum and other towns. Nine thousand people have died. The conflict has unleashed genocide against tribes in the region of Darfur. It is, says the UN, “a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions”, “the world’s largest displacement crisis”, with nearly 6 million refugees.

According to The Economist, four horrors are scouring Sudan: genocide, civil war, famine, and “the wider world’s utter indifference”. The African Union is twiddling its thumbs. The UN Security Council is sitting on its hands. The United States, reoccupied with Ukraine and Gaza, has done little. “The silence has been deafening,” says Mathilde Vu of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

“We’re approaching the 20th anniversary of when people like George Clooney were focused on genocide in Darfur, and the tragedy is now there’s total silence”, an aid worker told The Lancet.

“There is almost a total collapse of the health system and of every basic service in some areas. Added to this is a banking and economic crisis making it even harder to deliver services”, says Ms Vu.