Monday, April 18, 2005

War crimes - have we learned anything?

"Haven't we learned anything? Are we no further forward than we were 60 years ago?" asks the BBC's highly regarded world affairs editor John Simpson, in his report "War crimes - have we learned anything?

In the piece, published at BBC news online today, he writes:

"There was a time when we thought that killing on an industrial scale might be a thing of the past; but, depressingly, the pictures are no longer just in black and white nowadays. It may be 32 years since General Augusto Pinochet's men began killing left-wingers in Chile, and 30 since the Khmer Rouge arrived in Phnom Penh to force the entire population out into the killing fields. But it's only 11 years since Rwanda, and 10 since the Bosnian Serb general, Ratko Mladic, ordered the murder of every male Muslim in Srebrenica. And in Darfur people are dying right now."

He concludes by saying:
"It takes more than shaking our heads over old television pictures of piles of bodies to make sure that these terrible crimes aren't repeated. Governments will never take enthusiastic action unless they think we really care about these things."
Full Story.

Skulls - Khmer Rouge
Photo (AFP/BBC UK): More than a million people died under the Khmer Rouge rule.
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"If the people will lead, the leaders will follow."

[via Nile Basin Blog with thanks]
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Feeding the hungry of southern Sudan

See Photo Gallery and follow the journey taken by WFP food aid to the victims of the long civil war in south Sudan, from its arrival at the Port of Mombasa in Kenya to its delivery to locations across the conflict-stricken region.

Sudan WFP
Photo: WFP/Debbie Morello

Some food remains in temporary storage before being dispatched to its final destination in the region. WFP has a storage capacity of 30,000 metric tons at the port; half of it in its own warehouse, the rest in rented space. The storage of such large amounts of food requires very tight quality control, to ensure the conditions are clean and dry.

Feeding Southern Sudan WFP
Photo: Copyright 2005 WFP/Evelyn Hockstein

[via Nile Basin Blog with thanks]
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"We will die with our stomachs full"

It's only 11 years since Rwanda, and 10 since the Bosnian Serb general, Ratko Mladic, ordered the murder of every male Muslim in Srebrenica.

Here is a copy of a recent comment - found at a site somewhere on the Internet - on the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan:

"We saw this all too well in Bosnia a decade ago. Back then, Bosnian civilians watched the aid trucks continue to roll while their neighbors were gunned-down in full daylight. "We will die with our stomachs full," they used to say. Are we now going to stand by and watch a replay in Darfur?"

Radovan Karadzic and Gen Mladic
Photo (AFP/BBC UK): Gen Mladic (R) and his political master, Radovan Karadzic (L), the president of the Bosnian Serbs in the early 1990s, are still at liberty, in territory where Nato troops operate freely.


GratisGab said...

That picture was jolting.

Ingrid J. Jones said...

gratisgab - what a lovely surprise to see you here. Not many people are brave enough to comment. Thank you. It's always good to know I am not always talking into thin air :-)