For 20 years, the world has been promising “never again.” It’s been an empty promise.
Global Post, 8 April 2014
For those who lived through the genocide in Rwanda, the mass killings were an indescribable horror. For those who watched from afar, it was an international shame. The world stood idle as an estimated 800,000 men, women, and children were slaughtered in the course of 100 days in 1994. After, hanging its collective head, the world promised that “never again” would it allow such a horrifying conflict to unfold.
But even while making that promise, the world watched as people in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo killed and displaced each other by the millions. Conflicts in Darfur and Syria would also later test the world’s “never again” resolve. The US invasion of Iraq and Mexico’s drug war created new armed conflicts that also failed to live up to the lofty promise.
“Never again,” it seems, was an empty promise. The world of international actors capable of preventing or intervening in such conflicts has over and over again avoided doing so, even when there was the political and public will to do so.
Here are just seven examples:
1) Democratic Republic of Congo: First & Second Congo Wars, aftermath (1996 – present)
2) First and Second Liberian Civil Wars (1989-2003)
3) Eritrean – Ethiopian War (1998-2000)
4) Darfur conflict (2003 – present)
5) Iraq: US invasion, insurgency, civil war (2003 – present)
6) Mexican Drug War (2006 – present)
7) Syrian conflict (2011 – present)