Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dilletantes and diatribes

Ten organizations were kicked out of Sudan today, including one I used to work for, one I handed over my entire program to when I left Darfur and many whom I respect hugely. Thousands of refugees are pouring into Zam Zam IDP camp right now as a result of rebel attacks and all the organizations who would have mobilized to feed, clothe, shelter and care for them have just been summarily kicked out.

This is the justice we are getting for the ICC. An unenforceable arrest warrant. A public statement to let people in Geneva, Rome, Brussels, the Hague, London, New York wherever feel better about themselves and say "we aren't reliving Rwanda." As though this empty, harmful gesture means anything.

I spent this morning getting play by play accounts of what is going on right now out there. Offices seized, files destroyed, projects stopped. A terrified friend sat skyping as she listened on the security channel to the sound of another NGO, one who was kicked out, being assaulted by gunmen as they tried flee.

I know often talk about the uselessness of what we do (here for example) and I'm not saying that suddenly I believe all NGOs and humanitarian relief is perfect and Darfur will crumble as soon as we go. But those 10 organizations who were kicked out were the 10 biggest providers out there. Food, water, health, education, shelter, blankets - all of it depends on them. And now its gone.

For what... somebody tell me how THIS is more just than the alternative.

1 comment:

Alanna said...

I just linked you from my global health blog - http://adjix.com/5jcw. You're sharing space with yucky news about flies, but I wanted to give people a glimpse of the impact on the ground.