Issue of the Day

The UN is pulling out of war-torn Darfur


Refugees in Darfur, 2007. (hdptcar/Flickr)

For over 10 years, the region of Darfur in Western Sudan has pretty much been the definition of war-torn. Now the UN is getting out.

Despite increased fighting in Darfur, the UN is pulling troops out of the region to focus on new crises, such as the Ebola epidemic and the wars in Syria and South Sudan.

Here's Darfur on a map:

Only 4,000 UN troops are currently in Darfur, and that number that will drop in the coming months. Because of this, the 457,000 citizens chased from their homes by the fighting will be left without assistance. However, the UN troops are regularly attacked by Sudanese forces, making it extremely difficult for them to protect the displaced civilians.

However, the operation has been ridiculed for failing to protect citizens even while the peacekeeping mission was in full operation. It's been criticized for everything from bowing to government pressure and botching investigations. So is the operation useless baggage, or a vital peacekeeping effort? Either way, the citizens of Darfur are in a horrible situation. As El Tahir Ismail, an elder in a displaced persons camp in North Darfur, explained,

“We are in a big prison; we can’t leave the camps, there is no police, no security — there is no law.”

In other words, life in Darfur is completely awful. You can help by getting involved with SaveDarfur.org.

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The UN is pulling out of war-torn Darfur

Alison Maney

Alison Maney is a nomadic freelance writer originally from Northern Virginia. An NYU graduate since 2013, she has been spending her time writing for everyone from PR agencies to startup companies to actual real life publications. She wastes her time watching old movies with her dog, Louie.

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