Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The silence of bystanders

By Nicholas D. Kristof is a New York Times columnist.

I saw a lot of heartbreak on my latest visit to the fringes of Darfur: two orphan boys living under a tree after their family was murdered, a 13-year-old girl shot in the chest and a six-year-old boy trying desperately not to cry as doctors treated shrapnel wounds to his leg. But the face of genocide I found most searing belonged to Idris Ismael, a 32-year-old Chadian. Idris said that a Sudan-sponsored Janjaweed militia had attacked his village, Damri, that very morning. He had managed to run away. But his wife, Halima, eight months pregnant, could only hobble. And so she was still in the village, along with their four children, ages 3 to 12. ''The village is surrounded by Janjaweed, with civilians inside,'' Idris said. ''There's no way for people to escape. The Janjaweed will kill all the men, women and children, take all our blankets and other property, and then burn our homes. They will kill every last person. The Janjaweed will rape and kill my family, and there's nothing I can do.'' The full story >>>

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