Letter of February 1st 1997
from Jacques Gaillot

Guilty of silence




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Guilty of silence

What happens in the Great Lakes district in Africa no longer makes news, simply because nobody speaks about it any more nor shows concern.

In a climate of insecurity, the humanitarian organizations can no longer work, or else, they can do very little.

Yet large crowds of people have now been wandering for weeks in Eastern Zaire, coping with epidemics, hunger, fear.
Children more prone to disease, die every day.

There are no more cameras on the spot to witness the ordeal of thousands of refugees.

There are no longer cries to reach our wealthy countries. There are no more appeals that would motivate our solidarity.

Total silence.

Silence of the international community guilty of withholding assistance to a people in danger.
Silence of political leaders who are leaving the Africans to cope alone.
True, there are no prospects of markets, only human beings abandoned and left to die in the Zairean forests.

In the Bible, (Genesis 4)
God told Cain: "What have you done to your brother?" and Cain argued "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" God answered him: "The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground".

We are responsible for one another. Solidarity knows no borders. We form but one human family, here on earth.

Is that not a challenge for the coming century?

Jacques Gaillot