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BBC Panorama Darfur and the Promise Broken

6/28/2005 12:18pm

Darfur and the Promise Broken Darfur


3 July 2005 22:15 BST. BBC One

"I felt as if I was crying into the wind." The words are those of a UN official as he recalled trying to get the world to react to the slaughter in Darfur.

The man, a veteran of the Rwandan genocide, felt despair after travelling to international capitols to raise the alarm.

This was not how it was supposed to be. Ten years ago after the Rwandan genocide world leaders said they would never again delay and argue while innocent people were slaughtered.

Back then nearly a million people were killed in one hundred days by the Rwandan government army and its militia allies. Among the powerful men who committed themselves to act in future were the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Britain and the Secretary General of the UN.

It echoed the pledge of "never again" made in the wake of the Nazi Holocaust. Listening to a description of the Rwandan massacres President George Bush famously promised: "Not on my watch." Now, as Britain gears up for the G8 Summit and the Live8 concerts, Panorama investigates why the world has failed to confront what President Bush calls 'genocide' in Darfur. For millions of people in Darfur the priority now is not debt relief or fair trade but freedom from terror.

Early in the new millennium the leaders were given a chance to show what their promise meant when the government of Sudan began to slaughter its own people. The brutal crackdown in Darfur came after local rebels attacked government forces. The state hit back by unleashing Arab militias and sending its air force to bomb civilians.

Hundreds of thousands have been killed and two million driven from their homes. Yet since the campaign began there has been no effective international action to put an end to the killing. In a powerful investigation Panorama reveals a story of political manoeuvring, bureaucratic wrangling and extraordinary brutality. It also considers the pressures on powerful nations as they struggled to forge a response to the unfolding tragedy. Panorama goes behind the scenes with leading figures in Washington, London and at UN Headquarters, as well as talking to the victims of the terror.

Darfur Centre for Human Rights & Development
P.O Box 48299
London W2 7YG

Tel:00 44 7786984832

Tel: 00 44 7930691575

Email: [email protected]

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