Monday, May 08, 2006

Darfur: Lost in translation

This can't be good:

Darfur Refugees Kill Translator in Sudan By BISHR EL-TOUNI , 05.08.2006, 02:13 PM

Residents of a Darfur refugee camp hacked an African Union translator to death Monday shortly after the U.N. humanitarian chief rushed out of the same camp when demonstrators attacked another translator who was part of his entourage, U.N. spokesmen said. Both attacks were in Kalma camp near the city of Nyala in south Darfur, visited by Jan Egeland, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in New York said he was told there were two attacks. The first attack was against a non-governmental organization staffer, which prompted the departure of Egeland and his staff, Dujarric said. The second occurred after Egeland left, when the African Union compound in the camp was destroyed by its residents, he added. "It is our understanding that an African Union translator was hacked to death," Dujarric said. Earlier, U.N. spokeswoman Dawn Blalock said Egeland and his entourage had rushed out of the camp when demonstrators demanding the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers attacked a translator. They accused the translator of supporting the feared Janjaweed, the pro-government militia blamed for widespread atrocities in Darfur, she said.

The rest of the story is here. The misery being inflicted upon the poor and displaced in the Darfur region of the Sudan is just horrific. Only desperation of the worst sort could lead to events like this. Again I ask, what will the rest of us do about this? Have Afghanistan and Iraq permanently removed the possibility of U.S. or U.N. intervention as peacekeepers to stave off humanitarian disaster and even genocide? Can't someone see their way around this corner? Where are the real leaders in this world?


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