Never Again? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

After the horrors of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews died in concentration camps throughout Eastern Europe, world leaders proclaimed, “Never again.” Never again would genocide be allowed on the face of this earth. Never ever again.

Then there was Bangladesh in 1971, 300,000 killed. Cambodia, 1975 to 1979, 1.7 million. Iraq, 1988, 200,000. Rwanda, 1994, 800,000 in just 100 days. We heard about this incredulously years later, our eyes wet with unshed tears.

Now there is Darfur. To date the United Nations estimates over 450,000 have died from violence or disease. Over 2.5 million people have been forced to flee from their homes into already overcrowded refugee camps in Libya and Chad. Over one million are close to death from disease and lack of food.

The current conflict began in 2003. The Janjaweed, a militia group sponsored by the Sudanese government, and the Sudanese military are fighting against a variety of rebel groups including the Sudanese Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement, whose objective is to cleanse Sudan of dark-skinned Africans and make them pariahs in their own country.

My sympathy does not lie with the government, or the rebel forces it struggles against. In this situation, everyone is wrong. The Sudanese government is wrong for providing money and aid to the Janjaweed as they murder hundreds of thousands of innocent inhabitants. The so-called Sudanese Liberation Movement is wrong for raping 12-year-old girls as their parents are murdered in front of them. The ironically named Justice and Equality Movement is wrong for burning villages. All in the name of “the greater good,” but whose greater good?

As of August 2006, the African Union had 7,000 severely underfunded troops in the area. China has pledged to veto all sanctions in Khartoum to protect its own interests, and it has provided the Sudanese government with over $80 million in weapons. The 2008 Olympics are set to be held in Beijing with the slogan “One World, One Dream.” What a paradox. China seems to hold oil reserves in higher regard than the fate of millions of blameless civilians.

Governments in the Middle East dismiss the concerned outcries, claiming that the West exaggerates the situation in order to direct attention away from the Israel-Palestine conflict, and it’s simply war crimes being perpetrated against millions of civilians. Simply war crimes. Meanwhile, the world’s most powerful countries have limited their response to expressions of concern and commands that the United Nations take action.

Our leaders are failing us. Their desire for political correctness and indecisive nature is costing 500 civilians their lives each day. Each day. That’s 20 per hour, one every three minutes.

The UN has refused to call this genocide. Genocide, as defined by the dictionary, is the systematic killing of all the people from a national, ethnic, or religious group. Technically, the politicians who hesitate to designate this as genocide are correct. There is no discrimination between Africans and Arabians, Muslims and Christians. No pause to contemplate the demographic characteristics of a toddler with large, soulful eyes who looks up into the barrel of a gun. The Janjaweed supposedly targets non-Arab Africans, yet the carnage proves otherwise. The violence in Darfur has spread into Chad, where the Janjaweed attacks refugee camps.

So I guess this isn’t genocide after all. This is unbiased mass murder. Much better. It is time to ask ourselves when “Never again” will truly mean Never Again. And more importantly, can we afford to wait and see? .

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

Yvaine_96 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 27, 2010 at 7:30 am

"Genocide Never Again!"

And thanks for mentioning my country!


Star101 said...
Dec. 19, 2008 at 9:43 pm
Well, I think you forgot one race of people that were almost all slaughtered by the Turkish gov't in the 1915 Genocide of the Armenians. 1.5 million people were in killed, their homes burned and all some can say talk about is the Holocaust and Africa. Just because Armenians are such small minority, does not mean we need to be forgotten. For almost a century now, Armenians have fought for the Armenian Genocide to be recognized, but apparetntly to some peoples eyes, half this world is really blind... (more »)
never again said...
Aug. 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm
It's always important to know about these issues, and ofcourse this is your opinon, but I personally think that you need to know more about these topics because some things aren't as simple as what they seem to be.
slade3 said...
Aug. 6, 2008 at 11:15 pm
this was a good article you did a great job.
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