Decades of civil wars, who lose: donkeys and average citizens

photo: UNHCR (Source: Amnesty International USA)

Sudan, the largest nation-state in Africa had gone through two rounds of terrific civil wars at the cost of 2 million lives and continuous violation of human rights, in fact, extreme violence against humanity. The independence of southern Sudan is confirmed by the recent vote where people in the south happily voted 98.83 percent for secession and that will be declared on July 9. Twenty years of bloody war between nomadic-arab government based in Khartoum and the non-arab tribes (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) in the south has left tens of thousands of dead and millions of displaced people. This referendum in the final phase of comprehensive peace agreement gave a chance to make choice either for unity or for freedom. However, it’s a challenge onwards for southern Sudan to carry on the task of state building and handle conflict of interest between north and south as well as conflicts within the southern circle.

Nomadic arab had never been kind with non-arab ethnic people elsewhere in Sudan such as Darfur. History of this neglected region on the planet was written by guns, bullets and series of violence. Over two hundred thousands are killed, more than two million are displaced including women-children and several million are at risk. It’s a land of genocide committed by merciless arab nomadic beings. Sudan liberation army and justice and equity movement took up arms to fight against government forces and pro-government militias like Janjawid. While rule of law and justice does not work within a national territory and international justice hopelessly watch ceaseless dance of perpetrator committing murder, rape and anarchy, existentialism pursue taking up arms and reloading bullets.

Government forces and Janjawid had burnt down villages one after another and destroyed everything like wells, pumps, irrigation ditches, mosques and so on to wipe off villages of the geography. They killed innocent civilians indiscriminately. Those who escaped bullets began survival in temporary shelters. Janjawid militias do not think twice to kill average citizens and donkeys but they value camels and horses. Thus, civilians are as worthless as donkeys in the context of Darfur and the people of Darfur want autonomy like the way southern Sudan wanted autonomy and eventually independence.

President Omar Bashir is a hero in Khartoum who came to power through military coup and ruled the country by all his mighty and, on the contrary, a notorious villain for non-arab tribes. His government is widely criticized for marginalizing south Sudan and Darfur besides militancy. No significant development had been made in those regions to improve people’s life and livelihoods. Roads and infrastructures are yet to develop and most of the areas are inaccessible forcing people to live in the era much worse than medieval Europe. Famine, hunger, underdevelopment, ill-health, lack of education and employment and lack of water exist in Darfur. Women and children of displaced people walk miles to collect water knowing that they could be gunned down at some point. Peace keepers of African Union and UN are standing round the clock between ‘ceaseless dance’ of gunmen to protect innocent civilians. Aid workers have been tirelessly supplying foods and medical care in such a bizarre atmosphere where children could be killed by malnutrition or disease or by a bullet.

Two decades of civil war led by military lords have abandoned villages leaving people dead around who have worth value of donkeys. When ‘right to life’ is violated, it is too ambitious to imagine about ‘right to education’ or ‘right to health’. When government itself deploys perpetrators, how long peace keepers could hold the boundary safe for civilians. When militias have the heart of merciless wolves, how long Clooney’s satellite will be hovering over the borders to track them who have license to kill. If guns are the means for having power, place in ministry, ownership of resources, business and trade, forming political parties, sending their children to Geneva for higher education, pumping money out to banks in safe heaven, how long Amnesty International keeps reporting on human rights violations. If its win-lose game, gunmen of either side win; civilians and donkeys surely lose.


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