Sunday, September 17, 2006

Opening Our Eyes to the Crisis in Darfur

I promised someone a while ago that I would write an entry of the situation in Darfur. So the purpose of this post is to open everyone's eyes (if your eyes aren't already opened) to the crisis that is happening in Darfur, and hopefully to encourage everyone to do their part in putting an end to this crisis. Since 2003, it is estimated that more than 400,000 Darfurians have been killed, and another 2 million have been forced to flee their homes and are now refugees in Chad. If that's not enough, another 3.5 million people are completely dependent upon international aid to survive.

As background, the conflict in Darfur -- a region in western Sudan -- is between the Sudanese government-backed "Janjaweed" militia and two rebel groups, the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. The purpose of the rebel movement is to compel the Sudanese government to address the underdevelopment and political marginalization of the region. In response, the Sudanese government's armed forces, together with the Janjaweed, have engaged in "ethnic cleansing" against civilians who are of the same ethnic background as the rebels. There have also been several targeted attacks against aid workers.

Similar to the genocide that occurred in Rwanda, the world's response to the genocide in Sudan has been slow, if it exists at all. The United Nations has not identified the conflict as "genocide," and is planning to deploy a U.N. peacekeeping mission in January, 2007. However, the U.N. has stated that it will only do so if the Sudanese government consents to the deployment. And although the U.S. has identified the conflict as "genocide," it continues to do nothing to stop this genocide. I guess Sudan doesn't have enough oil for the U.S. to give a damn.

So what can we do? To start, I suggest going to http://www.savedarfur.org/, to learn how you can contribute. Whether you buy a wristband or organize a local group to raise funds, PLEASE GET INVOLVED!!! And please encourage your friends and family to get involved. I also encourage you to post comments reflecting your opinions about the conflict, and also about how people can get involved. We can't rely on our government to look our for our people in Africa.

--Notta

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I usually am not able to read this blog until later in the day. Sometimes I feel like I miss the entire discussion.

But, today there's not one response maybe they’re just not posted yet. However, I have that fear that people are more interested in Flav than our people.

What is happening is tragic.
The same woman can be gang raped daily because she has to leave camp to forage for firewood to cook.

When we hear about historical crimes against humanity we say that should never happen again. But it does because we don't pay attention. This is a holocaust. These people are being exterminated and most of us do nothing!

Thanks for posting this blog.

We have got to stop being so apathetic. We don’t vote so we get an idiot president that allows our people to suffer for day in New Orleans. We don’t get involved with our children’s education so they aren’t thriving. GET INVOLVED!

It’s like we’ll be late to work but make it to club before 10:00

Curry said...

Notta, I believe U summed it up with "I guess Sudan doesn't have enough oil for the U.S. to give a damn." Unless the U.S. has some vested interest in a particular region, it's overlooked & neglected. I honestly don't believe Bush is a "humanitarian" president, ESPECIALLY when it comes 2 us!

Miss Z said...

I have a friend that wrote an article about this crisis and I wanted to share. Notta is right, it would kill us to get involved with something that was actually going to affect a civilization. Here is the article;
Genocide in Darfur: Effects on Society

Genocide does not automatically signify mass killings although it may mean that, it is more accurately the destruction of the fundamental foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary to the annihilation of the national group to which they belong.

Genocide occurs on many levels and involves so many aspects of life that nothing short of a published document could accurately describe that. However, my challenge was to share my [b]opinion[/b] and relate how this tragedy relates to the lives of millions in other countries.

Why should the genocide of the black Sudanese be recognized as an international problem? Why not treat it as an internal problem of every country, if committed in time of peace, or as a problem between belligerents, if committed in time of war? I will answer as succinct as I am able.

The practices of genocide anywhere affect the essential interests of all civilized people. Its consequences can be neither isolated nor localized. Tolerating genocide is an admission of the principle that one national group has the right to attack another because of its supposed racial superiority. This principle invites an expansion of such practices beyond the borders of the offending state, and that means wars of aggression.

The disease of criminality if left unchecked is contagious. Minorities of one sort or another exist in all countries, protected by the constitutional order of the state. If maltreatment of any minority by any country is tolerated anywhere, the very moral and legal foundations of constitutional government may be shaken.

There are other ramifications and social affects. International trade balances are dependent upon the confidence of individuals to fulfill their obligations. Confiscation or wholesale destruction of groups’ resources deprives them of the ability to meet obligations, thus penalizing the others involved in the trade. Immigration patterns are upset – as mass executions force mass migrations – thus placing socio and economic strains on the neighboring nations.

Ladies and Gentlemen: our cultural heritage is the product of the contributions of all people. To allow a biological groups’ destruction is to invite wanton desecration of minority groups everywhere.

The problem faced in enforcement is a result of the treaties signed at Versailles. The treaties were designed to protect political and civil rights, rather than the biological structure of groups. Genocide is too disastrous a phenomenon to be left to fragmentary regulation. There must be an adequate mechanism for international cooperation in the punishment of the offenders.