Monday, July 04, 2005

Somewhat disturbed to see in the news this morning that the Sudanese government is trying (with some success) to manipulate the international media with the latest mortality figures.

Even worse, plenty of the coverage is giving the impression that the international community (UN, NGOs, etc.) is happily holding hands with the government over this exciting new development, and that we're all just slapping each other on the back over the good work done.

Not that I doubt the figures or am complaining that the health situation seems to have fallen slightly below 'crisis' level: I'm just annoyed that people aren't working harder to point out that these figures WILL deteriorate again over the coming months, no ifs or buts about it.

Rains here in South Darfur are already pounding down happily, and people are literally swimming into a public health disaster at Kalma camp.

Security has not improved either: any South Darfur situation report from this month confirms that there've been plenty of shootings, the militias have been entering the camps at night to spread terror, and even the NGO compounds and guest houses are getting robbed. Not surprisingly, the displaced community's trust in the African Union soldiers is fading fast in those places where attacks have been allowed to continue with impunity.

Thankfully, not everyone is fooled by the spin and I am somewhat pacified to see that the BBC was broadcasting a Panorama special on Darfur last night, and CNN and Channel 4 continue to screen Sorious Samura's 'Living With Refugees' documentary as part of this week's big Africa hoopla. Not that it's much help to the drenched families in Kalma tonight, but at least some people out there seem to remember that this conflict is still far from solved.

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