Friday, March 6, 2009

Waiting... But for what?

Very little has changed since yesterday. We're all continuing to hope for the best, but for the moment everyone is basically on hold, while we wait to see what will happen next.

Those of us in the south are basically safe- the authorities here have said they continue to support the presence of the organization (and the others thrown out of Darfur yesterday).

Honestly, this reminds me a lot of how things felt when Peace Corps evacuated from Chad, a constant sense of concern, followed by waiting. It's hard to say what this will mean for the work I've come here to do though. In the best case scenario, it's likely to be delayed significantly; worst-case would probably mean me coming home sooner than planned. If things do end here prematurely, I wonder if it'll be possible to catch on with another organization, perhaps even in a 'real job.' We'll see what happens.

At a meeting this morning, the head of the office told us how more than 200 local staff have now lost their jobs as a result of this. If it wasn't bad enough to be laid off in the current global economy, imagine not only being laid off, but being laid off in Darfur. This is the impact of decisions like the one made by the government yesterday.

A colleague of mine made an interesting point yesterday, for a government is as unconcerned about the ICC's decision as they claim to be, they certainly act as though they're guilty of something...

Ultimately, the thing to remember is that as much as this sucks for the organization, the real victims of this decision are the refugees and internally displaced people in Darfur- they're the ones who depend on NGOs for so much of the little they have. As I said yesterday, they're the ones who will continue to die, and in greater numbers. We can only hope that this decision will be reversed, but frankly, that seems unlikely.

As I know more, I'll post another update. Hope the news is better wherever you are, and I'd welcome any thoughts you might have in the comments section below.

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