It must be safe. A few thousand refugees from the border area with Chad are returning to Darfur. The numbers seem large, maybe inflated, but something is happening, and there must be truth in what the Government of Sudan says about the stability of that troubled land. Right?
That’s not exactly true, but the lie gets started and gains momentum and soon enough it has a life of its own, steamrolling the reality. Conditions for a safe and just return do not exist. We hear from refugees that they are pressured into going to meetings to discuss repatriation. The word “forced” is never used, but once the lie begins to take a hold in the place of truth, what does become the reality is that hundreds of thousands of brutally displaced civilians get pushed around and their opinions ignored, and the truth be damned.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was true that Darfur was safe and the conditions existed for them to return to a life of dignity and justice? If that was true, it would be the refugees themselves that would be running and pushing to get back to their lands.