Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Darfur Genocide

I am posting these eloquent words from one of my students, Megan Orrin, echoing her concerns and joining with those voices who are asking the media to give urgent attention to this crisis. I have forwarded this letter, as an expression of shared concerns to various media outlets and encourage any of the visitors to my blog to do the same. You can find out more here and here.

"Right now a campaign of rape, slaughter and displacement is currently being carried out in the western region of Sudan, the largest country in Africa. Government-supported troops have displaced 2.5 million people in the past two years, hundreds of thousands have died due to attacks, disease and starvation, and it is estimated that 500 men, women and children continue to die every day.

We must put pressure on our national leaders to take immediate action. President Bush and the United States Congress have recognized the situation in Darfur as "genocide," but it will take much more than words to end the violence and suffering in Darfur. In fact this recognition imposes a legal obligation, let alone the inherent moral obligation, upon governments to take action to stop the genocide. If our leaders made Darfur a priority, hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved.

We don't do anything because we don't know anything. I am writing to you to beg you to look into this situation. We need media coverage to educate our citizens about this situation. We need to care and get our goverment to see that we care so that action can be taken to help these people escape their situation.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about the Darfur conflict:
The Darfur conflict is an ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan, mainly between the Janjaweed, a militia group recruited from local Baggara tribes, and the non-Baggara peoples (mostly tribes of small farmers) of the region. The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supported the Janjaweed, provided arms and assistance and has participated in joint attacks with the group. The conflict began in February 2003. Estimates of deaths in the conflict have ranged from 50,000 (World Health Organization, September 2004) to 450,000 (Dr. Eric Reeves, 28 April 2006). Most NGOs use 400,000, a figure from the Coalition for International Justice. The conflict has been described by mass media as "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide"; the Bush Administration of the United States and the U.S. Congress have declared it to be genocide, though the United Nations has declined to do so.

President Bush once wrote in the margins of a report on the Rwandan genocide, "Not on my watch.", yet it is happening again! Last time we just sat back and watched, let's not to it again! Please help me in calling for immediate attention to Darfur and more robust action on behalf of governments to support security efforts in the region. Please help get this message out!"

Some media you can alert:






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