Saturday, April 19, 2008

Genocide in Darfur: How we can and are helping

By: Lauren Piro

In February 2003, violence and rebellion erupted in Sudan. Marginalized and neglected people of the non-Arab Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur coalesced as two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. They demanded government action to put an end to their economic depression, as well as to give them a voice in the Arab-run Sudanese government. What they received was a brutal response that became a war and what many today consider to be genocide.

The Arab tribe Janjaweed, Sudanese government-supported militia (although support of their practices is often denied by political leaders in Sudan), went on a brutal spree, targeting civilians of the rebel tribes - pillaging and destroying villages, raping women and murdering countless numbers of people. According to Amnesty International, as well as many other non-profit Darfur-awareness organizations and as found in U.N. data, at least 200,000 people have died due to violence and disease, with another 2.5 million displaced as fleeing refugees, either internally to other parts of Sudan or to another country such as Chad. However, as reported by in March, Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir has stated that the severity of the crisis is merely a "media-fabrication" and that fewer than 10,000 have died and less than 500,000 have been displaced - figures generally unaccepted by non-profit groups rallying against the conflict. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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