In 1994, the world went quiet and turned its back on Rwanda. In three months, more than 800 000 people were killed. Rwanda accused the French of supplying weapons that were used in the genocide. According to a report by the Global Policy Forum, the United Nations, under the then Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan, who became the secretary general in 1997, had launched a UN peacekeeping mission in Rwanda that was “doomed from the start by an insufficient mandate and later destroyed by the Security Council’s refusal to strengthen it once the killings began. And it showed UN officials – Annan and then-Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali among them – unable or unwilling to act on information from the field that a massive slaughter was occurring and that they needed to do something to stop it.”
In 2019, the same mistake is being repeated in Cameroon and Sudan.
While social media has played a huge contributory role to raising awareness about what is happening in Sudan and Cameroon, one cannot help but feel that the world will abandon Sudan and Cameroon the same way Rwanda was abandoned. The onus is now on Africans to use whatever means possible to continually tell their stories. While platforms like This Is Africa has covered the crisis in Cameroon, mainstream media has ignored it. There is only so much that This Is Africa can do with limited funding.
Every African country has its own individual problem. The level and urgency of those problems differ from country to country. What is most important, however, is that we constantly stand in solidarity with our African brothers and sisters, recognising the injustice that they are living through, speaking out against it and protesting for their freedom. In a Tweet put to South Africa’s former public protector Thuli Madonsela, asking her for her solidarity with the people of Sudan, it was embarrassing to see some South Africans state they had their own problems to tackle first. Not that their statement is not valid, but it was void of empathy at the ongoing genocide in Sudan. It made me wonder, what if all Africans responded the same way when South Africa was under the apartheid regime?
When we realise that, as Africans, the lives of fellow Africans deserve the same rage and grief with which we responded to the Notre Dame cathedral being engulfed by fire, or to the bombings in France – when, in response, we all claimed to be French, despite the history of continuous oppression the French government has on this continent – we would be saying, #IAmTheSudanRevolution and #BlueForSudan.