Many generations have been asked what legacy they will leave future generations, and it has been difficult to answer that. Generations before me have fought the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, and the fall of communism. Yet my current generation is dealing with an issue that will forever change time.
In my short time on this earth two genocides have occurred with the international community promising never again will it happen on their watch. The first genocide happened in Rwanda in the 1990s and left a million people dead in less than a hundred days, and I personally could do nothing about it. Yet the people who were in power, the United States and the United Nations, stood by and let another atrocity happen on their watch.
After all was done, President Clinton was quoted as saying, “The international community, together with nations in Africa, must bear its share of responsibility for this tragedy as well. We did not act quickly enough after the killing began. We should not have allowed the refugee camps to become safe havens for the killers. We did not immediately call these crimes by their rightful name: genocide. We cannot change the past, but we can and must do everything in our power to help you build a future without fear, and full of hope (PBS).”
Now another genocide is occurring in Sudan, and once again the United States and the United Nations is taking to long prevent it. In fact, in the past three years, 400,000 people have been killed by the Janjaweed. It is strongly believed that the Sudanese government is sponsoring the Janjaweed.
You ask, “What can people our age do to stop it?” Opening a history book isn’t enough. We are the next age group up for voting in the 2008 election. We need to elect government officials who will convince the government enough is enough; we need to send more monetary aid to Sudan and especially to people in the refuge camps. We need to give the United Nations more power and make sure they spend time stopping genocide instead of trying to define what it is. We need to take care of the after-effects of genocide; we need to get medicine into refugee camps for curable diseases like malaria.
We cannot do all these things unless we force our government to take action. Stop drilling in Sudan and actually help these people by giving them tools to move on with their lives.
Anuoluwapo Daramola is an OPRF High School student.