As one of the first to write about the problems in West Sudan/Darfur, in mid 2003, and living side by side here in Asmara for three years with representatives of the Darfur, and other Sudanese resistance, my investigation has found no evidence of genocide. Of course, genocide has and is being committed by Ethiopia against the Somalis in Ethiopia, but there has been no genocide in Darfur.
Let us start by comparing the two situations, the first being Darfur and the second the Ethiopian Ogaden.
The refugees of the Darfur conflict were and are the beneficiaries of one of the largest, and most effective relief works in history.
In contrast, relief aid to the Somalis living in the Ethiopian Ogaden, what little there was to begin with, has been effectively shut down now in almost all of the Ogaden for several years, despite one of the worst droughts in history.
Darfur has had an international police force in place for years, who work along side Sudanese security forces and most of the violence has ended.
In the Ogaden, Ethiopian death squads, funded by western “aid” have spent the better part of the past decade spreading murder and mayhem across the countryside. With almost everyone from the International Committee of the Red Cross to Doctors Without Borders being expelled, there has been miniscule coverage of this genocide in the western media let alone any exposure of the western role in funding the Ethiopian regime. Compare this to the saturation of the western media with the “Save Darfur” propaganda campaign and the tried and true golden rule of “show me the money” needs to be applied to explain what is really going on.
The Darfur genocide myth has been promoted by western “human rights” NGOs who have collected tens, maybe hundreds of millions of dollars under the rubric of “Enough” and “Preventing Genocide”. The claims of genocide are based on estimates of the number of deaths that were rapidly inflated as the dollars started rolling in. First it was 100,000, then 200,000, then 300,000 and finally, in a claim so ludicrous that even the British government media watchdog yanked it off the air, 400,000 people were supposed to have been victims of genocide in Darfur. None of the Darfur reps I have heard here in Asmara ever gave any credibility to the western figures. In fact, most everyone here in the Horn, at least those not on the western payroll, all agree the real number of those lost in the violence in west Sudan is in the tens of thousands, a tragic number but far surpassed by what has befallen those suffering in Somalia and the Ogaden where a real genocide has been taking place.
Today, the humanitarian situation in Somalia, where aid workers still operate, has been declared the worst in the world (and with what is happening to the Tamils in the concentration camps in Sri Lanka that is saying a lot). Next door in the Ethiopian Ogaden, conveniently there are almost no aid agencies, other than in a few towns, to witness what is as bad or more likely worse than in Somalia. Yet what do we hear from those who are collecting so much loot on behalf of suffering Africans about the real genocide going on in the Ogaden?
As I mentioned earlier, I first wrote about what I believed was happening in Sudan and Ethiopia back in mid 2003. Sudan is estimated to have suffered some two million deaths during its decades long civil war between the north and the south. After many years of hard work, peace has slowly, almost tortuously, been nurtured in Sudan, with the major ground work laid during negotiations held here in Asmara. In contrast to this what is the program of action demanded by the “Save Darfur” lot? A western-led military invasion and occupation a la Iraq and Afghanistan! With half a million or more dead in Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to western military “intervention” who in their right mind could think that sending western soldiers to Sudan will do anything other than destroy the peace so painfully built these past few years and cause even more suffering?
While peace has been slowing taking hold in Darfur, in the Ogaden peace is a long lost memory. War, famine and disease are spreading across the Ogaden and is becoming a situation that is increasingly the norm in growing areas of Ethiopia. While the western hucksters rake in beaucoup millions of dollars while peddling their “Save Darfur” bunkum , Sudanese have seen peace break out. In contrast, Ethiopians, suffering under a regime that is the largest recipient of western aid in Africa see only a future of growing ethnic and religious conflict and worse, active programs of genocide.
The problems developing in Ethiopia can invariably be traced back to the west, mainly the USA. The west, in particular the USA are hell bent on keeping Africa in a state of crisis, the better to exploit. And the “Save Darfur” lobby is all for bringing more violence to Africa under the guise of “humanitarian intervention”, while little of the tens of millions they collect ever reaches the Sudanese who it was intended for.
Busting the Darfur genocide myth is long overdue. If people in the west really want to help Africa they should stop donating to the Save Darfur fraudsters and start demanding accountability for the tens of billions of western aid that is paying for a real genocide in the Ethiopian Ogaden.
TOM MOUNTAIN lives in Eritrea and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org