Friday, December 30, 2005

Memo to Egypt: It's only okay to kill Sudanese in Sudan

The murder of at least 20 Sudanese refugees in Cairo last night by Egyptian police is a harsh reminder of the situation that many of the world's refugees face. Those that reach Europe or North America are the lucky ones, most are trapped in nations that themselves have poor human rights records and are ill-equipped to deal with them.

However, the reaction of the media is telling. The incident is currently the top world news story on Google News and has made the front page of all the major news sites, as well it should. On the other hand, the Sudanese government has been murdering its citizens for years and that only ever seems to catch the media's attention when foreign dignitaries see fit to visit. Why? Because the world doesn't really care as long as you are killing your own. Just keep it within your own borders and everybody's happy to go on ignoring it.

So yes, the Egyptian government should be brought to task for its treatment of refugees, but the true outrage should be reserved for the government of Sudan who seem to be constantly creating situations from which people need to seek refuge. But instead of being turned into an international pariah, they are set to host African Union and Arab League summits this year, and will likely take presidency of the AU. That'll show 'em! Unlike refugees, summit attendees have to be fed, can you imagine the catering expenses?!!

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