The Ugly side of Africa, Chad as an example

Orla’s report from Chad shows the other side of the continent still struggling for general peace. Almost constantly in Africa there is trouble going on. It ends in one country like Liberia only to start or continue in another. DR Congo is relatively peaceful after the presidential elections. But there is continuing suffering in Darfur and Chad as shown in Orla’s report. The refugees are just as forgotten as the wars that has driven them from their homes. Only journalists and humanitarian organisations seem to care about them. But both have limited power to change things. Journalists bring people the reality somewhere while humanitarian organisations struggle to alleviate the suffering of the refugees for lack of sufficient aids from donors or the precarious situations where they work under the threat of kidnapping, death or expulsion, not to mention attacks on their aid convoys.

In face of this situation, the call by the President of Ghana, John Kufuor, who has urged the world’s media to paint a less gloomy — and more realistic — picture of Africa can on fall on deaf ears, especially from professional journalists whose concern is to depict the situations as they are and not to pass on them a rosy layers to make them look like stories that begin in a sad atmosphere and end in ever happiness. The situation in Africa is still a shame for national leaders who can’t come up with tangible policies, for warring factions and also for powerful nations which treat it as third degree as it isn’t an urgent matter threatening their interests or world peace.

The images that stick in my mind from Orla’s report shows that Africa in its wars is still centuries behind in the way people are displaced, killed or tortured. It’s a reminder of the wars in middle ages when there were no international treaties or conventions about conducting wars and protecting the civilians. The world is ocean apart from what’s taking place there. There have been attempts to make poverty a history in Africa, but before that the factors claiming thousands of lives mainly savage armed conflicts, mismanagement and the world indifference should be made a history too.

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