Sunday, January 4, 2009

Lives of the Saints

by Jonathan Harr

Harr spent time a year ago among the international aid workers that are assigned along the Chadian border with Sudan. He describes the history of the UNHCR efforts in that region, as refugees from Darfur have flooded into Chad, and as Chadian rebels have been active in the same region for a number of years.

The stories from this part of the world are always brutal. These aid workers, mostly it would seem from other African nations or from France, live lives of great hardship, separated from their families for six-week blocks of time, and are required to stay there for two years. Reading the article, you really begin to gain an appreciation for the sacrifices that they make, and how much their lives are lived at the mercy of corrupt governments, rebel activity, and climate and weather patterns.

One thing that I think is worth comment is that it has been a year since Harr left the region, and really very little has changed in that time, none of it for the better. Darfur has been a cause celebre for a few years now, and yet there has been so little action beyond toothless condemnations and denouncements from the UN and the richer nations of the world.

No comments: