On a daily basis, I worry about my how my tax money is used(or abused), homework, paying bills, how much gas I can afford to put in my car, and dealing with my own personal demons. I don’t have to worry about being killed, my home being burned down, and my wife being raped by orders of the government. Fortunately, I just so happened to emerge a child of this Universe within the borders of the U.S.A. Within borders that don’t exist outside of our heads. They are figments of our imagination made real simply by thinking them up!
Well, there are millions of unfortunate souls born on the wrong side of the borders that make up this crazy world. It’s not enough that they live in huts within impoverished villages. No, they have wake up and worry whether or not their government is going to kill them, burn their hut down, and rape their mothers, sisters, and wives. These people live in Darfur, a place infected with another kind of ailment that doesn’t exist outside of the mind, that of extreme prejudice.
From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Website:
Since early 2003, Sudanese government soldiers and their proxy ethnic militia, known as the Janjaweed, have fought rebel groups in the western region of Darfur. The government and Janjaweed strategy has been to carry out systematic assaults against civilians from the same ethnic groups as the rebels: the Fur, Zaghawa, and Masaalit. Rebel forces are responsible for some attacks against civilians, but overwhelmingly the Sudanese government and Janjaweed have perpetrated the violence.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have died from violence, disease, and starvation, and thousands of women have been raped. About 2,500,000 civilians have been driven from their homes, their villages torched and property stolen. Thousands of villages have been systematically destroyed. More than 200,000 Sudanese have escaped to the neighboring country of Chad, but most are trapped inside Darfur. Thousands more die each month from the effects of inadequate food, water, health care, and shelter in a harsh desert environment.
Darfur is home to over 30 ethnic groups, all African and all Muslim. The Janjaweed militas – recruited, armed, trained, and supported by the Sudanese government – are drawn from several small nomadic groups who claim an Arab identity. They have used racial slurs while attacking and raping the targeted groups, who are considered non-Arab. The ethnic and perceived racial basis of the violence has been well documented by the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, independent human rights organizations, and international journalists.
Government-sponsored actions include:
* INFLAMING ethnic conflict
* IMPEDING international humanitarian access, resulting in deadly conditions of life for displaced civilians
* BOMBING civilian targets with aircraft
* MURDERING and RAPING civilians
Because of substantial evidence that “acts of genocide or related crimes against humanity were occurring or immediately threatened,” in 2004 the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum declared a Genocide Emergency for Darfur. That same year, the U.S. government determined that genocide had been committed in Darfur. In January 2005, the UN Commission of Inquiry concluded that “crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed in Darfur and may be no less serious and heinous then genocide.”
The death toll now exceeds 300,000, and the lives of hundreds of thousands more hang in the balance today.