“Man’s inhumanity to man is not only perpetuated by the vitriolic
actions of those who are bad, it is also
The ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan began in 2003, when the government of Sudan began sponsoring attacks against the people of Darfur.
The genocide has claimed 400,000 lives and displaced over 2,500,000 people. More than one hundred people continue to die each day.
About the size of Texas, the Darfur region is home to
racially mixed tribes of settled peasants, who identify as
African, and nomadic herders, who identify as Arab. The
majority of people in both groups are Muslim.
Since February 2003, the government-sponsored Janjaweed have used rape, displacement, organized starvation, threats against aid workers, and mass murder to kill more than 400,000 and displace 2.5 million people. Violence, disease, and displacement continue to kill thousands of innocent Darfurians every month.
Today, millions of displaced civilians living in refugee camps are in need of international support. Numerous reports have indicated that the insecurity on the ground has only worsened since the government of Sudan and one faction of a rebel group signed a peace agreement in May 2006. The African Union Mission in Sudan, the only peacekeeping force on the ground in Darfur, does not have the troop strength, resources, or mandate to effectively protect civilians.
A United Nations resolution in August 2006 authorized the deployment of a force of over 17,000 troops to Darfur. However, the UN has insisted on securing the “consent” of the Sudanese government for such a force. For its part, the government of Sudan recently launched another attack in Darfur, in violation of the May peace agreement, and continues to adamantly refuse the deployment of an effective force.
President Bush recently appointed a special envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, former head of USAID. This is an important diplomatic step, and will ensure that stopping this genocide remains high on the administration’s priorities.
The US government has been proactive in speaking out against the genocide, but members of the administration and Congress still have significant work to do, in order to make sure that an effective civilian protection force deploys to Darfur.
Don't just stand by; STAND UP!
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Wednesday, May 02, 2007
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