Monday, July 11, 2005

Have We Forgotten the Path to Peace?

Have We Forgotten the Path to Peace? - An article by former President Jimmy Carter entitled "Have We Forgotten the Path to Peace?" published in the New York Times (5/27/99).

From the site:

After the cold war, many expected that the world would enter an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Those who live in developed nations might think this is the case today, with the possible exception of the war in Kosovo. But at the Carter Center we monitor all serious conflicts in the world, and the reality is that the number of such wars has increased dramatically.

One reason is that the United Nations was designed to deal with international conflicts, and almost all the current ones are civil wars in developing countries. This creates a peacemaking vacuum that is most often filled by powerful nations that concentrate their attention on conflicts that affect them, like those in Iraq, Bosnia and Serbia. While the war in Kosovo rages and dominates the world's headlines, even more destructive conflicts in developing nations are systematically ignored by the United States and other powerful nations.

One can traverse Africa, from the Red Sea in the northeast to the southwestern Atlantic coast, and never step on peaceful territory. Fifty thousand people have recently perished in the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia, and almost two million have died during the 16-year conflict in neighboring Sudan. That war has now spilled into northern Uganda, whose troops have joined those from Rwanda to fight in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). The other Congo (Brazzaville) is also ravaged by civil war, and all attempts to bring peace to Angola have failed. Although formidable commitments are being made in the Balkans, where white Europeans are involved, no such concerted efforts are being made by leaders outside of Africa to resolve the disputes. This gives the strong impression of racism.

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