Sunday, February 26, 2006

Worse than a FEMA trailer

Times are hard, no doubt about it, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
But it could be worse.

We could be living in the Darfur region of Sudan, where women are raped while getting firewood and at least 200,000 people, many of them Christians, have been killed. Two million more are displaced, living in squalid refugee camps.

Children are being forced into slavery. It is an international nightmare.

Half of the region's 6 million people rely on outside assistance for food.

The Darfur crisis has been bumped off the world stage, by a mushbrained world worried about the latest Britney Spears brouhaha and the pontifications of George Clooney. Full story >>>

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Many lives at stake


Our position: NATO forces are needed in Darfur now to try to stop the genocide.

At least 200,000 men, women and children have died in the Darfur region of Sudan in the past three years, the victims of what the United States has rightly labeled genocide. The toll will keep climbing if the world does not do more to stop the carnage.

It was heartening that President George W. Bush, in a recent visit to Central Florida, called for more international action in Darfur, and for NATO to take a leading role.

Sudan's government has responded ruthlessly to a rebellion in Darfur, backing Arab militias that have burned, raped and killed their way through villages in the region. More than 2 million people have been driven from their homes. For the full story click here >>>

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Sudan & The Darfur

[from CAQ #78]
By:Gillian Lusk

And they keep on dying. Over a year since Sudan’s Islamist1 government began slaughtering its own citizens in the remote western region of Darfur, those citizens continue to be killed by a government that claims to represent them. In April 2004, many people marked the commemoration of the Rwandan genocide of April 1994 by saying “Never again!” Yet Darfur’s genocide is still underway.2

Among those warning that “Rwanda in slow motion” was taking place were Sudanese, journalists, human rights activists and the Canadian General Roméo Dallaire, who had helplessly watched his own United Nations troops helplessly watching Rwanda’s genocide unfold.3 Also among them was the man who had headed the U.N. Peacekeeping Operations Department at that terrible time and who is now head of the entire U.N. machine, Kofi Annan.4 For more click here >>>

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Darfur issue presents chance to think globally

by Carlo Romero

Someone tell Kanye West: George Bush does care about black people.

So does U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, actor Don Cheadle, Nobel Prize-winning author Elie Wiesel, evangelist Billy Graham, actress Angelina Jolie, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Harvard President Larry Summers, Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek and thousands of students at OU.

All these individuals comprise a growing coalition calling for an international intervention to stop the genocide that has been taking place since 2003 in Darfur, Sudan. Click here for the rest of the story >>>

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Living a restricted life in Darfur

Source: IRIN

KABKABIYA, 22 February (IRIN) - On the plains of Kabkabiya town in North Darfur, numerous abandoned villages dot the empty landscape. Their burned remains bear witness to the escalation of the Darfur conflict in 2003.

"When the conflict began here," said a community leader who requested anonymity, "the Janjawid [militias] attacked the villages around Kabkabiya, especially to the east and south. They killed many people, took their animals and destroyed their belongings." For the entire picture >>>

Darfur crisis deepening, says Benn

On a visit to Sudan, the international development secretary said the situation in Darfur is worsening.

Hilary Benn was in the region on Wednesday, where he inspected the situation on the ground for the second time in eight months.

The cabinet minister told the BBC that, following the fallout from the refugee crisis sparked by civil war, security had got worse in the intervening period. Read more >>>

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sudan hindering peace mission in Darfur

AU says Sudan curfew hinders peace force in Darfur
By Opheera McDoom

EL-FASHER, Sudan, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Sudan is hindering an African Union peace mission's ability to monitor a tentative truce in the Darfur region by imposing a curfew and restricting airport access, the head of the mission said on Tuesday. For the full story, click here >>>

Rhetoric isn't ending the killing in Darfur

By Rabbi Rudin

Never Again!" is a well-worn mantra invoked by many people when they remember the mass murder of 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. The phrase is meant to indicate that we have learned the disastrous effects of remaining silent or indifferent in the face of genocide, the systematic killing of an entire people.

But have we truly learned such a lesson? Or is "Never Again!" rhetorical comfort food for our souls? Somewhere in the answers to those questions must come a mention of Darfur, a region about the size of France that is in the African nation of Sudan. Click here for the rest of the story >>

Monday, February 20, 2006

On the continuing misery in Darfur


The Holocaust. Rwanda. The Armenian genocide. These words evoke thoughts of ineffable death and suffering. After these tragedies, the world vowed "never again." Genocide is a problem of the past, right? But what about Darfur? Do you even know where it is?

In Darfur people are being systematically eliminated. However, only a fraction of what could be done to help has been done. The general public is not demanding further action, but we are the very group that could make the difference.

The time is long passed when we could say that just because it isn't happening to us it is not our problem. Genocide is the world's problem. Read more >>>>

SUDAN: Tension still high in Kutum town

Source: IRIN

KUTUM, 20 February (IRIN) - At the Monday market in Kutum town, North Darfur, heavily armed Janjawid militia openly stroll between the fruit and vegetable stalls, closely watched by Sudanese soldiers.

It is the first day the market is open again after a week of unrest. Unease and fear are palpable.

On 1 February, rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) killed a lieutenant of the Sudanese military in the town. In retaliation, the Janjawid militia took over the town's streets for a week, culminating in a violent assault on the local population on 6 February. Click here for the full story >>>

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pali Students Step Up Support for Darfur

Alyson Sena , Reporter

An ongoing community effort to halt the genocide in Darfur, Africa, continues at Palisades Charter High School, where four Human Rights Watch Student Task Force groups met with Darfur activists last week. Students from four high schools joined the national Million Voices campaign to help collect one million signed postcards urging President Bush to take action.

PaliHi's HRW Student Task Force alone projected it could gather 4,760 postcards by targeting mass-attendance events at the school, doing outreach in the larger community and publicizing their mission through media and networking systems. The nationwide goal is to deliver one million postcards to the president by April 30. Click here for more >>

Break the Silence, and Speak Up on Darfur

Burt Siegel

Many who have no idea who the 18th-century British parliamentarian and essayist Edmund Burke was are probably familiar with his observation that all that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

As the toll of murdered Darfurians in the nation of Sudan rises each day, I can't help think that the world has learned very little. Neither the Holocaust - in which six million Jews were killed - nor the Hutu massacre of co-religionist Catholic Tutsis, nor the murder of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo by Eastern Orthodox Serbs or Catholic Croats seems to have reached that part of our souls where we are so horrified that we demand that steps be taken to stop another genocide.

According to estimates, since February 2003, more than 400,000 African men, women and children have died, while another 2.5 million civilians have been forced into refugee camps in Sudan and neighboring Chad. Read the full story >>

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

No more talk on Darfur

A Register-Guard Editorial

Two years have passed since the Bush administration first acknowledged that genocide was occurring in Sudan's Darfur region. Yet the world has done little more than talk eloquently about the suffering.

There was more talk in Washington, D.C., Monday as President Bush and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan discussed the need for an effective peacekeeping force in Darfur. Bush made no commitments of military support or additional funding. Afterward, Bush made no mention of Annan's proposal for an international mission and would only say that they'd had "a good discussion." Click here for more >>>

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Our friend, an architect of the genocide in Darfur

The U.S. sacrifices moral leadership when it cozies up to killers for snippets of counterterrorism information.

IT HAS BEEN 18 months since the United States concluded that genocide was taking place in Darfur. Yet President Bush, the only president to declare an ongoing genocide since the term was coined 50 years ago, has done little to stop this crime against humanity.

Why not? The answer may lie in the complex story of Salah Abdallah Gosh. Gosh isn't exactly a household name, but there are two groups of people for whom his name is exceedingly important: U.S. counterterrorism officials and victims of atrocities in Sudan. For the entire picture click here >>

Monday, February 13, 2006

Stop genocide in Darfur

The Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda — if the world community could undo or at least lessen any of those historic horrors, would it?

If the answer is yes, then the world must train its energy on Darfur in Sudan, where a slaughter that President Bush called a genocide two years ago is getting worse. For the full story click here >>

Children of Darfur reveal their pain with pictures of rape and murder

By Kim Sengupta
Published: 13 February 2006

The images are of murder and rape, burning villages, helicopter gunships and terrified, fleeing refugees. They have been drawn by children, some as young as eight, who are victims of a wave of bloody ethnic cleansing in Darfur.

Two years after the international outcry over the man-made catastrophe in Sudan, the Janjaweed militia have returned with a vengeance, bringing death and destruction, backed by forces of the Khartoum government. Click here for the full story >>

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Mr. Bush and Genocide

Sunday, February 12, 2006; B06

FOR THE PAST 18 months, the Bush administration and its allies have clung to the fiction that they could stop the genocide in the Sudanese territory of Darfur by sending in African Union forces. On Thursday United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke the truth about these troops: "They didn't have the large numbers that would have been required for a region the size of Darfur. They didn't have logistical support. They didn't have the mobility, either on the ground or in the air." Mr. Annan went on to say that the U.N. force that may replace the African Union had better be "a completely different force and have a completely different concept of operation." The issue is whether President Bush, who is due to meet Mr. Annan tomorrow, is willing to hear this message. Click here for the entire story >

Desperation in Darfur

Can the United Nations now succeed where African peacekeepers have failed?
By Dan Morrison

NYALA, SUDAN--The murderous Janjaweed militia are camped in a dusty swirl 6 miles outside the South Darfur town of Gereida, where the 60,000 residents fear an attack could come at any moment. With armed horsemen practically on their doorstep, the women of Gereida took an unusual step--they wrote a letter swearing to rampage with knives and machetes unless a group of outsiders leaves within 72 hours. Click here for the whole story >>

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Genocide is not negotiable

By John Morlino

Humanitarian aid notwithstanding, the international community has done little more than watch while the Sudanese military and its government-sponsored militias have killed 400,000 people and violently displaced 2 million more in Darfur. On top of this nightmare, women and young girls who have, thus far, survived continue to face the terrifying prospect of rape whenever they leave their refugee camps in search of firewood or water. Read the full story >>>>>>

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bring on the blue helmets

Feb 9th 2006 | NAIROBI
From The Economist

Thousands of defenceless people in western Sudan still need protecting

SINCE the tragedy in Darfur, Sudan's western region, began three years ago, at least 200,000 people—some say more than 300,000—have died; another 2m, in a population of 6m, have been displaced, many of them fleeing across the border into Chad; peace talks in Nigeria between the rebels and the Sudanese government have stalled yet again; there is a risk of a proxy war breaking out between Chad and Sudan; and the African Union (AU), with some 7,000 ill-equipped troops, admits it cannot keep the peace. Now, belatedly, the UN is likely, as a last resort, to send blue helmets to Darfur. Click here for the full story >>>>>

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Refugee voices - Women in Kalma camp, Darfur

"Controlled anarchy" is how one humanitarian worker described Kalma camp, in South Darfur. Located 17 kilometers outside of Nyala, Kalma camp is also one of Darfur's largest, with nearly 90,000 inhabitants. Most have lived there for nearly two years, fleeing the fighting between rebel groups and government-sponsored Janjaweed militias. For more click here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Darfur is dying: save it with a video game

CMU graduate students’ video game reaches finals of mtvU competition
Justin Brown

Just a spoonful of interactive pixels helps the need for social welfare and reform go down. Such is the philosophy of the recent mtvU Darfur Digital Activist Contest. The contest, which called for groups of college students to create video games that would help increase awareness of travesties in Sudan, is in its final stages. One of the four finalists is by a group of five CMU (more specifically, Entertainment Technology Center) masters students. Click here for the full story >>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, February 06, 2006

Will the world rescue Darfur?

February 6, 2006

The African Union sent a strong message last week to Sudan's government, and to the world, about its commitment to ending the indiscriminate violence in the country's western province of Darfur.

The 53-member union refused to elect Sudan President Omar al-Bashir as its chairman even though he was the only announced candidate. Leaders of several other African countries opposed his election because of escalating human rights abuses in Darfur.

Maybe Sudan got the message. Maybe, just maybe, the United Nations got the message too. On Friday, following the union's action, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a U.S.-sponsored motion to deploy peacekeepers to Darfur. Click here for full story >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Silent terror of the Darfur refugee

By David Blair
(Filed: 06/02/2006)

A terrified young boy joins the countless thousands of victims of the civil war that is destroying Sudan. David Blair reports from the chaos of Kalma camp

When mounted Arab raiders struck Nasir Ali Hassan's village, firing from the saddle and setting huts ablaze, the seven-year-old boy fled with his mother across the arid plains of Darfur. Follow the full story >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The hidden legacy of war

Mary Anne Fitzgerald International Herald Tribune

As the sun set behind the mud hut, four young boys and their teenage sister sat around the dying embers of a cooking fire. "I was standing next to my uncle when they shot him dead. They set fire to the house. There were flames everywhere," said eight-year-old Toum. It was the first time he had spoken of the day, after a year of silence, when armed militia known as janjaweed razed his village to the ground as part of an ongoing campaign of genocide in Sudan's As the sun set behind the mud hut, four young boys and their teenage sister sat around the dying embers of a cooking fire. "I was standing next to my uncle when they shot him dead. They set fire to the house. There were flames everywhere," said eight-year-old Toum. It was the first time he had spoken of the day, after a year of silence, when armed militia known as janjaweed razed his village to the ground as part of an ongoing campaign of genocide in Sudan's Darfur region. Read the entire story >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

UN agrees to deployment of peacekeepers in Sudan

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006,Page 6

The UN Security Council, acknowledging the failure of the current strategy for ending the carnage in Darfur, Sudan, agreed on Friday to deploy thousands of peacekeepers to the troubled province.

The US, which holds the council presidency this month, offered the motion, and it was approved unanimously. Officials acknowledged that winning council approval was probably the least difficult step. Click here for the full story >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, February 04, 2006

New Violence Displaces Many Tens of Thousands of Darfuris, February 4, 2006

As New Violence Displaces Many Tens of Thousands of Darfuris,
as humanitarian security deteriorates badly, threatening hundreds of thousands,
the Bush administration decides these people are no longer victims of genocide. Click here for the full story >>>>>>>

Eric Reeves
February 4, 2006

Entire Darfur village of 55,000 flees after raids by Janjaweed gunmen

By David Blair in Menawashi
(Filed: 04/02/2006)

Exhausted refugees were building ramshackle shelters in a dry river bed yesterday after 55,000 people fled a raid mounted by the Janjaweed militia in the Sudanese province of Darfur.

It was the biggest movement of refugees there so far this year. The victims, many of whom have fled attacks twice or even three times before, are camped around the town of Menawashi in southern Darfur. Read the full episode >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Friday, February 03, 2006

African Union may pull troops from Darfur

Published February 3, 2006

The African Union says violence is worsening in Sudan's western Darfur region and it may have to withdraw troops for lack of funds.

The United States wants the United Nations to take control of the Darfur peacekeeping force, the BBC said.

The head of the AU Sudan peacekeeping mission, Baba Gana Kingibe, blamed intertribal fighting, Arab militias and "opportunistic bandits" for the escalation in violence. He urged the government to take immediate steps to disarm the militias.

He said there were fewer confrontations between the three main parties involved in peace talks -- the government and the two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

War Crimes in Crayola

Children depict the atrocities of Darfur in crayon.
By Sue Peters

Helicopters and airplanes vs. camels and horses in Darfur.It can be easy to forget about troubles in distant countries when so many crises explode into the headlines with disturbing regularity: New Orleans, the Pakistan-Kashmir earthquake, Iraq. And then there's Darfur. Read the full story >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dealing With the Genocide in Darfur

Wednesday, February 1, 2006; A22

The plan that U.N. Secretary General Kofi A. Annan laid out in his Jan. 25 op-ed, "Darfur Descending," epitomized why the United Nations is viewed as ineffectual by much of the world.

Mr. Annan identified the hunger-relief effort, the African Union (A.U.) peacekeeping force and a negotiated cease-fire as reasons for hope when he visited Darfur last May. But efforts to relieve hunger are mitigating actions, not solutions; the African Union force was known to lack resources, training, manpower and effective rules of engagement; and negotiations work only when driven by real carrots and real sticks. Read the full story >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>