Jan 2, 2006
Before dawn on December 29, Egyptian riot police raided a makeshift tent camp of Sudanese refugees with water cannons and clubs. Dozens of people were killed or injured in the resulting stampede. A human rights agency confirmed 23 of the dead, all but one of whom are women, children or elderly.
Last September, Sudanese families began to camp in front of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Cairo, Egypt’s capital, to protest the agency’s refusal to help them. Eventually, more than 2,000 people were forced to crowd into a traffic island no larger than a basketball court.
Apparently, the raid was in response to complaints from residents and business owners in the upscale neighborhood where the U.N. office, and thus the refugees’ encampment, was. But well-to-do Egyptians were not the only ones to complain. So did U.N. officials, who told the protesters that they had to go back to Sudan, since the war that drove them to flee is now officially over.
Most of the refugees are from southern Sudan, an area devastated for a number of years by a civil war. During this war, militia forces systematically attacked the civilian population.
Who could blame the refugees for not wanting to go back – especially since the militia forces that attacked them were supported by the government that’s still in power?
In fact, in the summer of 2004, the then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visited the area and called the attacks on the civilian population a genocide – a charge repeated by top U.N. officials.
So is this the way the U.N. treats genocide victims? Calling the cops on them and getting dozens of them killed?
These U.N. officials, like the officials of western governments including the U.S., never miss an opportunity to declare themselves the guardians of peace and human rights all over the world. The plight of the Sudanese refugees, which made headlines in the media only because of this horrible massacre, shows what shameless hypocrites they are.