An op-ed piece in Wednesday’s Washington Post calls attention to one of the world’s neglected catastrophes: the genocide by the Sudanese government and its militias against ethnic tribal groups in the Darfur region of western Sudan. (This is separate from the more widely-reported war in southern Sudan.)
There have been what Amnesty International calls “horrifying military attacks against civilians” throughout Darfur… The government has sent bombers to attack undefended villages, refugee camps and water wells. The United Nations estimates that 1 million people have been displaced by war and that more than 3 million are affected by armed conflict.
According to the Post piece, one reason for the news media’s neglect of the massive brutality in Darfur is the Sudanese government’s refusal to allow journalists or humanitarian workers into the region.
This hasn’t prevented the government in Khartoum– in an act of breathtaking hypocrisy– from sending a representative to The Hague to argue before the International Court of Justice that Israel’s West Bank separation fence is creating hardships for Palestinians.
Of course these hardships have been reported in detail by news media all over the world. This is because Israel allows journalists access to the territory it controls.
But I have to wonder: even if the media were allowed into the Darfur region, would we receive from there even a fraction of the news that we get from places like the West Bank and Gaza?