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Why is the world blind to the tragedy in Africa.

 
 
au1929
 
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 08:39 am
ADRE, Chad So why is Africa such a mess?.
To answer that question, let me tell you about a 34-year-old man who limped over to me at this oasis in eastern Chad. "My name is Moussa Tamadji Yodi," he said in elegant French, "and I'm a teacher. ... I just crossed the border yesterday from Sudan. I was beaten up and lost everything.".
Yodi, a college graduate, speaks French, Arabic, English and two African languages. During the decades of Chad's civil war, he fled across the border into the Darfur region of Sudan to seek refuge..
Darfur has erupted into its own civil war and genocide. Yodi told how a government-backed Arab militia stopped his truck - the equivalent of a public bus - and forced everyone off. The troops let some people go, robbed and beat others, and shot one young man in the head, probably because he was from the Zaghawa tribe, which the Arab militias are trying to wipe out..
"Nobody reacted," Yodi said. "We were all afraid.".
So Yodi is a refugee for a second time, fleeing another civil war. And that is a window into Africa's central problem: insecurity. There is no formula for economic development, but three factors seem crucial: security, market-oriented policies and good governance. Botswana is the only African country that has enjoyed all three in the last 40 years, and it has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. And when these conditions applied, Uganda, Ghana, Mozambique and Rwanda boomed..
But the African leaders who cared the most about their people, like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania or Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, tended to adopt quasi-socialist policies that hurt their people. In recent decades, Africans did much better ruled with capitalism than with compassion..
These days, African economic policies are more market-oriented, and governance is improving. The big civil wars are winding down. All this leaves me guardedly optimistic..
Yet Africa's biggest problem is still security. The end of the cold war has seen a surge in civil conflict, partly because great powers no longer stabilize client states. One-fifth of Africans live in nations shaken by recent wars. My New York Times colleague Howard French forcefully scolds the West in his new book, "A Continent for the Taking," for deliberately looking away from eruptions of unspeakable violence..
One lesson of the last dozen years is that instead of being purely reactive, helpfully bulldozing mass graves after massacres, African and Western leaders should try much harder to stop civil wars as they start..
The world is facing a critical test of that principle in the Darfur region of Sudan, where Arab militias are killing and driving out darker-skinned African tribespeople..
While the world marks the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide and solemnly asserts that this must never happen again, it is happening. Again..
Some 1,000 people are dying each week in Sudan, and 110,000 refugees, like Yodi, have poured into Chad. Worse off are the 600,000 refugees within Sudan, who face hunger and disease after being driven from their villages by the Arab militias..
"They come with camels, with guns, and they ask for the men," Yodi said. "Then they kill the men and rape the women and steal everything." One of their objectives, he added, "is to wipe out blacks." This is not a case when we can claim, as the world did after the Armenian, Jewish and Cambodian genocides, that we didn't know how bad it was. Sudan's refugees tell of mass killings and rapes, of women branded, of children killed, of villages burned - yet Sudan's government just stiffed new peace talks that began Tuesday night in Chad. So far the UN Security Council hasn't even gotten around to discussing the genocide. And while President George W. Bush, to his credit, raised the issue privately in a telephone conversation last week with the president of Sudan, he has not said a peep about it publicly..
It's time for Bush to speak out forcefully against the slaughter. This is not just a moral test of whether the world will tolerate another genocide. It's also a practical test of the ability of African and Western governments alike to respond to incipient civil wars while they can still be suppressed. Africa's future depends on the outcome, and for now it's a test we're all failing..
E-mail: [email protected]

Why is the world blind to the tragedy of Africa?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,057 • Replies: 43
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Apr, 2004 02:59 pm
Just curious, but is Bush supposed to get involved in other nations when you approve, and not do so when you don't, or is there some other standard you are using that isn't apparent to me?
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 09:03 am
Scrat
Did I mention anything about Bush or the US getting involved militarily. We are after all not the world or the worlds policeman. Where is that organization
called the UN? Yes, I know as presently constituted they have no fighting force. I would ask what than is the value of the UN. It would seem there only function is to be an overpriced debating society.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 09:40 am
I'd dismantle the UN tomorrow. Don't expect me to defend that waste of prime office space.

You did seem to be complaining that we haven't gone into these countries to fix their problems, and since their problems stem from internal military struggles, I assumed you didn't expect us to send the Department of Education in to do something about it.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 09:52 am
Scrat
The killing and massacres in Africa have gone on for years. It is time the nations of the world take some action. Is it not strange when the problems in the Balkan's emerged the Europeans and the US became involved. Yet Africa has been left to fester. I should note that in some regard the troubles in Africa are the result of the European colonial policies and the exploitation of that continent. They should be at the forefront of the efforts.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 09:58 am
Au, last year I tried to initiate discussion about various topics inre Africa and got very little response. After I gave up, someone posted "Africa, is it a lost cause?" (<- paraphrasing). I think that hits the nail on the head, many people think Africa is a lost cause.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 10:27 am
au1929 wrote:
The killing and massacres in Africa have gone on for years. It is time the nations of the world take some action. Is it not strange when the problems in the Balkan's emerged the Europeans and the US became involved. Yet Africa has been left to fester. I should note that in some regard the troubles in Africa are the result of the European colonial policies and the exploitation of that continent. They should be at the forefront of the efforts.

I guess I just don't understand your contention that foreign governments should NOT take action in certain countries (Iraq) but should in others.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 11:05 am
I do not know what you are reading. Did I mention Iraq or for that matter any country? If you are asking should we the US have invaded Iraq. The answer is no. However, that is not the subject of the posting although you seem to want it to be.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 11:56 am
No, I am simply wondering whether you have any understandable, consistent standard for your opinions, as your opinion on Iraq, and your stated opinion here seem to be at odds. I hoped you could help me understand this.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 12:11 pm
Scrat
No Inconsistancy. I believe Bush was wrong when he unilateraly invaded Iraq and he would be just as wrong if he did the same thing anywhere else.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 12:18 pm
1) Multinational action is not unilateral action. You don't get to approve the list of coalition members, or redefine words to meet your needs.

2) What if a single country decided to heed your call and try to do something about the problems in Africa? Would your complaint be with that country, or with all the others that failed to heed your call for action?
0 Replies
 
caprice
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 12:19 pm
littlek wrote:
Au, last year I tried to initiate discussion about various topics inre Africa and got very little response. After I gave up, someone posted "Africa, is it a lost cause?" (<- paraphrasing). I think that hits the nail on the head, many people think Africa is a lost cause.


It is so sad, isn't it? How can these men treat their fellow human beings so atrociously? It tears at my heart that such things can happen. What can we do?
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 12:34 pm
Scrat
As much as you apparently want I have no intention of turning this post in a discussion of our attack upon Iraq. There are many posts related to that subject. The discussion if there is to be one will be about the tragedy occurring on the African continent.
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Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 01:05 pm
AU - As much as you apparently want to avoid discussing what your standard is for justifying extranational interference in a nation's internal business, that's an issue you have raised by your stated position here and your known position on Iraq, and that, not Iraq, is what I am attempting to explore.

Though I understand completely if you prefer not to address the inconsistency of your current position.
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 01:08 pm
Did you guys see the Frontline piece on Rwanda last night? Sad
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caprice
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 01:13 pm
No, I didn't. Can you give a brief synopsis?
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hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 01:22 pm
Frontline: The Ghosts of Rwanda
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 02:49 pm
Scrat
What is it you having a slow day and are looking for someone to argue with?Not interested in your nonsence today. Go peddle your papers elsewhere.
0 Replies
 
Scrat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 03:04 pm
Au - You seem to be holding world leaders to some moving standard regarding when it is appropriate to take action in another country, and seem unable to articulate that standard beyond the notion that they should check with you first to see if it is okay.

It's clear that you don't want to think about the hypocrisy of your stance on Africa VS. your stance on Iraq, so I'll leave you with your inconsistent standards intact and unexamined. Cool
0 Replies
 
hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Apr, 2004 03:06 pm
Thanks for hijacking yet another thread scrat. Rolling Eyes
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