"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

As Two Aid Workers in Sudan Face Death - the True Tragedy of Aid

It was reported yesterday that two female aid workers kidnapped from their Sudanese compound on 4th April may be murdered if the demands of the militia holding them are not met.

Stephanie Joidon is Canadian and her colleague Claire Dubois is French. They work for the international aid organisation Aide Medicale Internationale.

A spokesman for the kidnappers named the gang as the 'Falcons for the Liberation of Africa', and stated that if six French aid workers accused of abducting children in Chad in the so-called 'Zoe's Ark' case were not re-tried, then the two hostages may come to harm.

The BBC has more:

One of the men told Reuters news agency by telephone: "We demand France open the case of the Zoe's Ark criminals and judge them through a fair court.

"If the French government is not serious in negotiations with us and does not respond to our request, we will kill the two aid workers."

In 2007, six employees of French humanitarian group Zoe's Ark were convicted of trying to fly more than 100 children out of Chad to Europe without authorisation.

The group, who denied the charges, were sentenced to eight years of hard labour by a Chadian court, but were pardoned in March 2008 by Chad's president.

The kidnappers allowed one of their captives to speak to media by satellite telephone on Sunday.

Ms Joidon told AFP news agency: "We are being treated well. We do not know where we are. We wish [our families] much courage. We hope that all ends well."

I think cases such as this put a lot into perspective - just what were these women doing in one of the most dangerous countries on earth?

I understand that most aid volunteers are humanitarians who just want to help, butI feel the aid industry has simply become a destructive cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The unfortunate situation in most parts of Africa will not improve with interference; people must be left to their own devices to find out what works for them, to learn from their own mistakes.

The constant safety net of aid and international intervention simply exacerbates the problem, because it is in itself based on a kind of casual racism; it is based on the idea that some people are incapable of helping themselves and must be treated like children, or cannot be expected to achieve certain standards.

The 'Falcons for the Liberation of Africa' are probably just Sudanese Islamists making mischief due to the arrest warrant issued for Omar al-Bashir - they probably don't realise just how true some of their words ring.

Assuming for a moment that the motives of this group are pure, why would some Africans want to be 'liberated' from free food, free money and instantly being absolved of all blame for their own problems and failings?

Could it be because all of these things sound good on the surface, but are actually an anathema to human development?

Sometimes, you genuinely need to be cruel to be kind. As far as I can tell, 90% of the Third World aid industry is based around a perpetual cycle - keeping directors employed, making government ministers feel useful and benevolent, generating huge sums of money which are often wasted just to help individuals and fundraisers feel good, and massaging celebrity egos.

All of this is hugely counterproductive, as the tragedy which is Africa proves. It is simply not sustainable to maintain the population levels of an entire continent on charity - it is a sick experiment, and in many respects the ultimate example of Western superiority complexes and what would have once been called the 'white man's burden' - the need to dominate and control and dictate what's best which the Left deride so much.

This isn't the iron fist version, that's all - it's a sickly, suffocating blanket of love and hope and kindness.

Both kill, however. As the world's population exceeds the capacity of the planet to support it, supplying huge amounts of food aid will become increasingly untenable - then millions will suffer and die, millions more than if the population levels had been allowed to correct themselves to the suitability of their environment in the first place.

That's a true tragedy, and a purely man-made one.

1 comment:

Dr.D said...

White Westerners who go into muzlim and African countries exacerbate the problem because they essentially volunteer to become hostages for situation just like this. Anytime the endlessly aggrieved have something to complain about, they simply grab the nearest white people as hostages.

It sounds extremely harsh, but I am afraid we are at the point where we have to start saying to these people, "you are on your own; we will ignore you when you are taken hostage." We have to end the leverage that this gives the muzlims and the Africans over us. It would be best if we could simply convince people not to go there, but free people will go where they will. But we do not have to support and back them up.

As the Earl has pointed out, alll of Africa cannot be sustained as a charity case indefinitely. These people must eventually work out their own solution, and it must be THEIR solution, not our solution for them. They are often very slow to do this, e.g. the fact that Somalia has been without a government for almost 20 years and shows no signs of forming one. This has been enormously detrimental to the welfare of the country, but the people there have not seen fit to do anything about it. We have to let that be and let them come to terms with it when they will. We cannot give them a country. It is the same throughout Africa in all aspects.