With international attention focused so relentlessly on the referenda in South Sudan and Abyei—scheduled to be held less than four weeks from now (on January 9, 2011)—it was all too predictable that the continuing human catastrophe in Darfur would be rendered increasingly invisible. Indifference has begun to replace engagement with the Darfur crisis, as peace talks under African Union and Qatari auspices make no progress, reporting from the ground (including from human rights organizations) has become almost nonexistent, and aid organizations are unable to speak out about humanitarian conditions because of UN timidity. We are thus without any comprehensive chronicling of the massive human misery and genocidal destruction that has gone on for almost eight years.
But Darfur has not been entirely eclipsed, largely because the voices of Darfuri survivors continue to make their way to Sudanese news websites and human rights organizations, including the Sudan Tribune, Radio Dabanga, and the African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACPJS). None of these operates inside Sudan; the few workers for Radio Dabanga courageous enough to try to remain in Khartoum have now been arrested by security forces. But all these external sources have surprisingly good access to Darfuris on the ground by means of a range of electronic communication, and in my experience have proved consistently reliable (as opposed to statements by rebel groups, which often turn out to be exaggerations). Darfuris who have fled the region are also a source of news and intelligence, for those with contacts in this embattled diaspora. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>