A break from my green, plastic- free banter for this week……..
I’ve spent the last few weeks working on another environmental issue…..the genocide in Darfur continues to rage on and I’m having a hard time stomaching my peaceful (albeit plastic-filled) American life while tragedy prevails across the globe. The genocide in Darfur is atrocious. The books and articles I’ve been reading, by survivors who have escaped, contain too many graphic stories to share. The type of violence, rape, mutilation and destruction going on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is unacceptable, horrifying, senseless.
In the history of the world, this is the first genocide being committed that the rest of the world has a chance to “see.” Journalists are risking their lives documenting the daily atrocities so that the rest of us can step up to the plate and do something. We have a choice to make: mourn this genocide once it is over or do something about it now.
The Sudanese govt. is responsible for committing this genocide against their people. This is the hard piece to understand —-but as one Darfurian explains, “people live above the land, below it are all the resources.” ( The Translator, Douad Hari). The government wants power, money, the natural resources that come from having a “pure”, cleansed population. Horrific.
When the genocide first began, the Sudanese leaders were sure no one would care. There are problems in Africa all of the time, why would the world pay attention this time? Well, the world did care this time and there are many individuals and groups working day and night to end this crisis. Whether sending humanitarian aid for the 2 million–yes, 2 million–displaced darfurians, or putting pressure on governments around the world to step in and do something, there are people working around the clock to let the Sudanese leaders KNOW that we are watching.
We even know a death toll….500,000. In 4 years, 500,000 real people, like you and me, killed. And the ways they were killed are again too horrifying to write about. Children are being given guns (they get a stipend to join the govt. group–the janjaweed–of $200. That is years worth of money. They also get food–a scarcity. In return they must kill. ) There are stories of 12 year old boys banding together to do their killings. Their favorite targets–the elderly, young girls, babies, women. How is this possible? How does the world ever recover from this much evil?
The Sudanese govt is responding to political pressure. They know, now, that the world is watching. In fact We can all help in this situation. The Save Darfur Coalition has paved the way for all of us. By joining with them we can add our voice, our eyes, our ears, our prayers.
Please take a look at their web site.