Matthew Walsh's EFL ESL website

Why can't we stop this?

  Darfur is a region in the west of Sudan in Africa. Since 2003, there has been a conflict in Darfur. The fighting is between some groups from Darfur who don't like the government of Sudan, and the government of Sudan along with a group called the 'Janjaweed' who are from an area near Darfur. The Janjaweed want to get rid of all the people in Darfur and make the region only for themselves. The government of Sudan is unstable after civil war and is afraid of the groups in Darfur as well as the country next to Darfur, Chad so they help the Janjaweed.

 Between 200,000 and 700,000 people have been killed by the 'Janjaweed' and the government of Sudan. The soldiers rape the women, kill the people and burn the villages. Over 2,500,000 people are refugees or have run away from their home and are living in camps. The problem continues today and it is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

  NGOs and aid organizations are trying very hard to help the people, but sometimes the government of Sudan stops them. Another problem is that the U.N. and other countries have been slow to do anything to stop the killing. Why is this?

  The answer is that the government of Sudan has many friends because of economics. China's 4th largest supplier of oil is Sudan. Also, Sudan buys many weapons from Russia. If the U.N. suggests punishing Sudan for the bad things they are doing to the people in Darfur, Russia and China take Sudan's side and dissagree.

  As of 2001, Sudan spent 60% of the money from selling its oil to buy weapons. It could be said that China's money buys Russian weapons in order to kill people in Darfur. A growing China needs the oil and Russia's slow economy needs the money from selling the weapons so neither country can afford to damage relations with Sudan.

  There have been 6 peace talks so far, but they have all failed. The U.N. still hasn't taken any serious action. The African Union (an organization made by the countries of Africa) was helping the situation, but they are running out of money. The NGOs and aid organizations are working hard, but it's getting harder and harder for them. What can we do? Why can't we stop this?

  Many students and average people around the world are asking banks and companies not to do business with Sudan. Also, many people are asking this question: If something like this happened in Europe or America would the world still keep quiet?

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  Testimony from some of the refugees now in Chad

'Hello' in Sudan Arabic = salaam aleikum