Tuesday, March 15, 2005

First they came for the humans... 

Mayhem in Sudan continues:

"A new report says the military in Sudan is slaughtering elephants to feed an illegal market for ivory.

"The report for charity Care for the Wild International says elephants are being killed in Southern Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic to feed the illegal trade. It is estimated between 6,000 and 12,000 elephants are killed each year in central Africa.

"The report claims that Sudanese soldiers have entered national parks to kill the animals, particularly in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo where the slaughter is said to be out of control.

"It is claimed the soldiers are using their government ammunition to kill the elephants and then transporting their body parts through Khartoum."
Now I'm sure the international community will step in and stop the slaughter in Sudan (hat tip: John Kennett). In Darfur, meanwhile, the UN's own Jan Egeland estimates that 180,000 have died so far, or 10,000 per month. Fortunately, the rate is slowing down; according to Egeland, "mortality has decreased in recent months because of effective relief work." And kudos to the UN and all the other aid organizations for their "effective relief work", but pretty soon the mortality in Darfur will slide from the "UN is deeply concerned" level down to a tolerable, out-of-the-spotlight attrition rate, meaning the UN will have once again weathered the storm without taking any tough decisions, and will be free to move on to another crisis to be concerned about while the people are dropping like flies.

Which means that if we're genuine about wanting to stop genocide and gross violations of human rights, it will increasingly be up to the future Willing to go in and stop the bloodshed, UN or no UN, leaving the august body to do some "effective relief work" afterwards (but no nation-building:
see Kosovo).


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