In that statement, he highlights the obligation of writers to pay attention, to bear witness to situations of situations of oppression, but not necessarily to give easy answers. I know this from Achebe's other work that his stories are no rallying cry; they are more about making people "no longer at ease" as one of his books is titled.
This is the reason for the title of our unit, "bearing witness." Bearing witness is the job of the writer, to show injustice but in a way that is different than that of a journalist. What is the purpose of this? To kindle our humanity so that we feel again, so that we are no longer numb. The thought is that waking people up to their own humanity may be even more powerful force for good than is uniting them under some clearly stated slogan.