The Darfur Genocide
How can it happen again, does nobody care???
250,000 dead is not enough
If you have not seen the movies "Hotel Rwanda" or "Shooting Dogs" then you ought to. They are shocking, and they kind of hurt to watch... it's quite unbelievable how cruel and inhumane people can be. I saw Shooting Dogs for the first time last night, I had been shaken up pretty badly by watching Hotel Rwanda a few years ago, and was not sure if I could take on another film like that. I wish that I could wash some of the scenes from my eyes, but the images are burnt in, only because it's based on a true story. I think that Hotel Rwanda is a more powerful film, but they both get the point across pretty clearly.
This must never happen again.
So they said...
But it is.
UN officials now believe that over 300,000 people have been murdered by government sponsored militias. Over 2.5 Million people have been forced from their homes and live in fear of attack from the various militias (which the government claim to have no power over), the most notorious are the Janjaweed, who ride into villages on horses and camels and kill the men and children and rape the women. Many are disfigured after being held as sex slaves after seeing their husbands and children killed in front of them. The stories from these women are just terrifying. Some that escape and live have to bare the children of their torturers as a lifetime reminder of their pain and suffering.
The rebels (the anti-government victims in this conflict) claim that the government is oppressing the black Africans in favour of the Arab population. The two main rebel groups are the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) although many of the groups have divided into smaller groups which is also hindering the peace talks.
There has been conflict between these two groups for decades, the Arabs being mostly nomadic and the Africans farmers.
I will get some more of my research typed up here soon...
So what can we do?
We all have a voice, and when they are raised together can be heard at the highest seats of power.
Many governments are still trading with the Sudanese government for oil (mainly the Chinese, who have more human rights abuses to answer for, in Burma). These trade links need to cease until peace is negotiated.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) have sought to indict President Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has declared a cease fire, but with little effect on the ground, as many of the malitia groups are working independently.
The UN peacekeeping force needs the power to act and needs to send the 26,000 promised troops to try and control the situation. Pressure needs to be kept up on the UN officials, and that happens at an official level.
But YOU can help. See some of the web sites below to find out more information and to find ways to help. Write to your local MP or senator and make it known that YOU CARE.