(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) DURING THE Rwandan genocide, scores of mutilated corpses of Tutsis had been dumped in the rivers, while others had been simply left to rot in the streets.
After that horrible episode of ethnic cleansing that claimed nearly 100,000 lives and displaced millions, the international community promised that it would 'never again' silently watch such a brutal massacre from the sidelines. In 2005, the United Nation initiated the responsibility to protect -a norm that holds the international community responsible for tackling with crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide on a global level.
Now 18 years later, a civil war continues in full momentum in Syria, but the international community is still watching the spectacle of gore from a distance. While there is no exact figure available, the total death toll is over 15,000 since the uprising again Assad's regime started in May 2011 and thousands have fled the country to neighbouring Turkey.
However, the issue of Syria, while widely debated by all the important international players, is still primarily discussed in terms of security. Russia and China are concerned about losing their crucial market for arms in the event of Assad's downfall.
The Western powers, though eager in condemning Assad, are reluctant to have Nato intervene, for fear that it might overstep its mandate like it did in Libya. The Middle Eastern countries are deeply worried about Syria, because of the possibility of a spillover of violence into their own territories- the recent outbreak of sectarian strife in Turkey shows that their concern is warranted.
So while the stakeholders ruminate about the 'grave security situation' in Syria to serve their own interests, what remains neglected - if not totally abandoned - in debate is the humanitarian emergency there. There is no international effort to tackle the hunger and displacement and insecurity that afflicts civilians in Syria. As all the power players take their sweet time in bickering and deciding which side they are on, they are ignoring that there's a third party that is suffering: ordinary civilians. So judging from the dismal state of affairs, it appears that the Middle East will soon have its very own Rwanda.