The New York Times recently had this important editorial on Darfur. It’s good to see that there is still some attention out there for Darfur, an issue that it seems many people have started to give up on. It starts with this:
“In January, President Bush said this about Darfur: “My administration called this genocide. Once you label it genocide, you obviously have to do something about it.”
Yet, last week — nearly one year later — this is what the International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told the United Nations Security Council about Darfur: “Genocide continues. Rapes in and around the camps continue. Humanitarian assistance is still hindered. More than 5,000 displaced persons die each month.” How can this still be?
One of the most interesting parts of this article to me was that the author seemed to be celebrating the role of the International Criminal Court and Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for finally putting some real pressure on the government in Sudan. While the killing has not stopped, the government of Sudan has taken a few superficial steps towards peace, such as calling a ceasefire and pledging to prosecute war criminals. Although these steps at the moment seem to be merely aimed at saving face rather than genuinely working towards peace, it is precisely these sorts of moves that Canada, the US, and other nations should pick up on and build off of. Even a superficial step can turn into reality if there were other nations holding the government accountable to the pledges it makes and the words it speaks in this time period. So I tend to agree with the author of this article – Moreno-Ocampo has generated some real pressure….now it’s just time for some one else to pick up on the “ripe moment” he has helped create.