David Cameron has won some banner headlines this morning for repudiating Margaret Thatcher’s South Africa policy. As posted on Thursday, ConservativeHome is supportive of the Tory leader’s international development policy and it is difficult to get excited – one way or the other – about his reflections on the Thatcher governments’ opposition to sanctions.
David Cameron won’t be judged on policy towards apartheid-era South Africa, however. His generation of politicians will be judged on the problems of their own time. Everything else is political positioning. One of the biggest problems – indeed, moral outrages – of our time is the loss of life in Darfur. The news from this desperate region of Africa remains bleak. I found this on the Coalition for Darfur blog from just four days ago:
"More than 200 women have been sexually assaulted in the last five weeks alone around Darfur’s largest displaced camp, Kalma, an alarming trend that is yet another sign of the region’s plummeting security situation. The situation is so dire that about 300 women convened a meeting in Kalma on Aug. 7 to plead for more help from the outside world – particularly from African Union troops mandated to protect civilians."
I wonder what the Conservative leader of 2020 will make of what David Cameron did – or didn’t do – about Darfur? Did the Leader of the Opposition make it impossible for Tony Blair to ignore this human tragedy by constant campaigning on the subject?
Amnesty International, the Darfur Union and the anti-genocide Aegis Trust are organising a demonstration outside of the Sudanese Embassy on 17th September. It would be a good opportunity for Mr Cameron to begin raising the Darfur crisis.