01 May 2006

Darfur


Yesterday nearly 15,000 people a rally in Washington to urge President Bush to take stronger measures to end the violence in Darfur, which the American government itself described as genocide as far back as 2004.
The rally was addressed by a wide range of speakers including Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel and Paul Rusesabagina who saved 1200 Tutsis and moderate Hutus from slaughter at the hands of the Interhamwe. story Washington Post

The conflict in Darfur has been rolling on since February 2003, when rebels launched attacks seeking greater autonomy. In response the Sudanese government sent troops and pro-government muslim militias (the Janjaweed) to quell the uprising. The militias commenced a campaign of terror, killing and raping civilians mostly from non-Arab but muslim ethnic groups, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their villages. At present the humanitarian situation in Darfur is worsening with 60,000 Darfur villagers fleeing to neighbouring Chad in the last month alone according to the United Nations. Diplomatic and political efforts have so far failed to stop the violence: even today rebel groups have just rejected an African Union brokered settlement and the prospect for peace in the region looks bleak.
While the African Union has a peace keeping force in the ground in Darfur, it is just 7000 strong and is responsible for an area the size of France. Leaving aside Bin Laden’s recent pathetic rant about resisting “crusaders” in Sudan, can we stand by and let our Governments ignore the plight of Darfur in the same way that they did Rwanda just 12 years ago?
What can we do? There are many organizations we can support that are bringing pressure to bear on our governments to act, including: Save Darfur, Survivors United,Genocide Intervention Network and the Aegis Trust
There are many other sources of information on the internet: A google search on Darfur will bring over 41 million results but the superb Sudan Watch news blog is highly recommended as is My Camera was not Nearly Enough,Brian Steidle’s photo essay for US Holocaust Memorial website. I would also recommend these reports by Medecins Sans Frontieres and Amnesty International

7 comments:

Redwine said...

Who gives a shit? Nothing, almost nothing has changed in two years, and more radical measures are needed, I'm afraid. Charity is nice and often necessary, but it is still charity only. And I still see people praising the Janjaweed....

But I don't see many having sleepless nights because of Darfur.

jams o donnell said...

Charity is essential in cases of emergency (famines, tsunamisetc) but it should only ever be a stop-gap pending a more effective solution.

What is the answer? not to give a shit at all or to support the Janjaweed are not the right options in my view.

Redwine said...

I was being sarcastic. I do find charity (if nothing else is available) important in such cases, but the issue is that it has been going on for years, and as if nobody were looking for a solution. Also I think supporting the Janjaweed (especially from here) is monstruous, yet I saw that too, not once.

jams o donnell said...

The lack of attention given to what has happened in Darfur over the last two years is a disgrace. THe same can be said for the scale of international reaction.

As for those that support the atrocities of the Janjaweed, I presume they are the same people that viewed Milosevic and Saddam as saints and bin Laden as a hero... As far as I am concerned such people are at best fools and at worst scum.

Redwine said...

Jams, have you noticed this silence when it comes to Africa? I.e. full coverage of the Middle East (but very little about Lebanon or Syria for example), and almost nothing about Africa. That shit goes to the public, how touching. A pity I deleted my blog, the previous one, I mean. I will try to post again the Ken Saro Wiwa story. Had a look, and almost nothing about Africa. About Darfur: since lovely Been Laden opened his filthy mouth. Or not Bin Laden is news, Darfur is.

jams o donnell said...

THe execution of Ken Saro Wiwa was a major story here back in 1995 but what of the plight of the Ogoni thereafter? virtually nothing. Sadly you are right to say that Africa is badly under reported in the media...

If you still have that article about Ken Saro Wiwa it would be good to see it on your blog again.

Redwine said...

I'll try to post it again in the near future, but the other blog is gone, so I have to find everything again.