Near Port Selao
I found this email when I logged in today:
I live in the United States, and I have to say that I’m shocked to report that very little information about the war ever reaches us. As far as most of us overseas know, the civil war ended when the AU peacekeepers marched into Port Selao, and your stories came as quite a shock. I suppose that we all assumed that the war was over, yet whenever I read your blog, it seems that things are still just as bad as they were before, probably even worse. How can the entire world simply overlook such a bloody conflict, especially after decades of seeing what happens when we overlook them? How does this happen?
Mike poses a very good question. How does this happen? Rwanda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and here. All over Africa, there is bloody death but the world chooses not to see. I believe most people are like Mike. They get angry at what they see; they want to know, to help. But the news media decides what is “news”.
On my trip back to South Africa a few weeks ago, I caught a report from one of those 24-hour news shows. It was a story about some singer in Hollywood hounded by the media. The story was about the media’s obsession over her. It was presented as news. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The media was doing a story about themselves and their own obsessions. On that same day, I’d received photos of a man who’d had his arms hacked off by drunken mercenaries near Lake Segolo.
So I too have to wonder, how does this happen? I don’t have the answer. All I can say is that we must rely on ourselves. We must keep our eyes open. We must seek out information (the Internet, foreign newspapers). We must be hungry for news of the suffering. It’s never pleasant, but it’s a first step. It gives a voice to the dying or the dead.