Talk is cheap


The fight to stop violence in Darfur scored a victory earlier this month when the U.N. Security Council passed a unanimous resolution to send a force of 26,000 soldiers to the Darfur region of Sudan.

After the resolution was passed, the world breathed a sigh of relief with hope that the people of Darfur might finally get the help they need. However, with three weeks passing and the details of the resolution coming to light, the people of Darfur do not seem any closer to actual relief.

This issue has stormed the world since the genocide began four years ago. It has inspired countless Facebook groups, MySpace pages and e-mail campaigns, demanding the world stand up and stop the violence. Their lack of effort is just as unsubstantial as the U.N. resolution.

The resolution seemed like just the answer, but there is only one hurdle left – actually sending the U.N. force where they are most needed.

According to BBC news on Aug. 17, the unanimously passed resolution, titled the United Nations-Africa Union Mission in Darfur, would create a joint force falling under the direction of the current Sudanese government. The hope of the United Nations was to appear as not overstepping Sudan’s political autonomy.

The most conservative of estimates put the death toll in Darfur at 200,000 with more than two million Darfurians left without a home or food. Yet the directions will be handed down from the same government responsible for letting, if not inspiring, this genocide to occur. Does this sound right?

National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition on Aug. 4 explained some of the more fine-print details of absolute absurdity within the U.N. resolution.

For example, U.N soldiers are not allowed to take weapons from the Janjaweed Militia – those formally responsible for the violence.

Put another way, the U.N. soldiers would be violating lawif they attempted to take away the same weapons used to kill men, kidnap women and murder children.

These U.N. soldiers would be breaking the law if they tried to take away bombs used to knock out entire families and villages.

The violence in Darfur started four years ago, and has shown this is the last place that can afford an empty promise of hope from an already late world.

This lack of necessary action from the United Nations is a signal of worse things to come. The only positive aspect is the world has rallied together enough to agree, at the very least, that genocide is bad and should be stopped. Yet after four years of the worst kind of violence, the world’s reaction is lacking.

I’m reminded just how little is actually happening every time a new Facebook group is made advocating help to the people of Darfur.

Facebook groups are good, and they do provide information; however, the action can’t stop with joining a group that knows the problem exists.

We sign up, we get the e-mails, but the action tends to stop there.

This problem of a genocidal government is not something for just the politicians and leaders of today to fix, but a problem of greater proportions to the world’s future.

Had leaders of the past turned their heads to such an insurmountable problem, the world we live in would be a much different place. This is a global community; problems around the world no longer stay across the ocean.

The world’s leaders were given four years and have presented what can only be charitably described as the Diet Coke of resolutions to go in and stop this violence.

We are coming into a big election year – look at what the candidates’ stances are on foreign aid. Choose to hold our leaders accountable for actions in the global community.

Kevin Phillips is a senior in legal communication. Please send comments to