Where is Darfur? Darfur is located in the western region of Sudan
What is Genocide? Genocide is the systematic and planned killing of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group. On September 9, 2004 Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “Genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility -- and that genocide may still be occurring.”
Genocide (cont.) June 24 th, 2004, for the first time in its history, the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum declared a “genocide emergency” in the Sudan On July 22, 2004 the U.S. Congress passed resolutions declaring Genocide in Darfur, Sudan. On January 25, 2005, the United Nations Commission of Inquiry declared “government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks, including killing of civilians, torture, enforced disappearances, destruction of villages, rape and other forms of sexual violence, pillaging and forced displacement, throughout Darfur. These acts were conducted on a widespread and systematic basis... The vast majority of the victims of all of these violations have been from the Fur, Zaghawa, Massalit, Jebel, Aranga and other so-called 'African' tribes”.
History of the Conflict Open warfare erupted in Darfur in early 2003 when the two loosely allied rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), attacked military installations. This followed closely with peace agreements brokered by the United States to end the twenty-year-old [civil war][link BackgroundOnNorthSouth996.doc] in the south of Sudan which allocated government positions and oil revenue to the rebels in the south. At that time, rebels in Darfur, seeking an end to the region's chronic economic and political marginalization, also took up arms to protect their communities against a twenty-year campaign by government-backed militias recruited among groups of Arab extraction in Darfur and Chad.
History (Cont.) The war, which risks inflicting irreparable damage on a delicate ethnic balance of seven million people who are uniformly Muslim, is actually multiple intertwined conflicts. One is between government- aligned forces and rebels; a second entails indiscriminate attacks of the government-sponsored Janjaweed militia on civilians; and a third involves a struggle among Darfur communities themselves. Its implications go far beyond Darfur's borders. The war indirectly threatens the regimes in both Sudan and Chad and has the potential to inspire insurgencies in other parts of the country.
“I was sleeping when the attack on Disa [village] started. I was taken away by the attackers, they were all in uniforms. They took dozens of other girls and mde us walk for three hours. During the day we were beaten and they were telling us: "You, the black women, we will exterminate you, you have no god." At night we were raped several times. The Arabs guarded us with arms and we were not given food for three days.” Female refugee from Disa a
Facts An estimated 400,000 innocent civilians have been brutally murdered More than 200,000 people have been forced from their homes and have fled to refugee camps in neighboring Chad. Over 1.5 million people have been internally displaced. More than 10,000 people die each month. As many as 1 million civilians could die in Darfur from lack of food and from disease within coming months
The majority of the victims are from the Fur, Zaghawa, Massalit, Jebel, Aranga and other African tribes.
Who are the “Janjaweed”? The Arab Janjaweed are the militiamen who are responsible for the mass killings. Janjaweed is Arabic for “Devil on a horse” The Government of Sudan is undeniably linked to the Janjaweed. The Janjaweed systematically gang rape women and girls, castrate, brand and beat men and boys, and torture all.
Here's Zahra. After her husband and sons were murdered, the Janjaweed carried her and her sisters off and gang-raped them. The sisters were murdered, and Zahra was finally released, naked, after the Janjaweed slashed her leg to mark her forever.
The Janjaweed raid villages, burn the homes, destroy the crops and poison the wells. Survivors from the attacks are unable to return home because their villages are inhabitable.
What is the U.S. Doing? Although they can and must do more, the United States has done more than any other nation in the world. The Bush Administration has provided the most funding to the Darfur relief effort. In early-March, 2005 Senators Sam Brownback (KS) and Jon Corzine (NJ) introduced into the Senate the Darfur Accountability Act (S 495). In mid-March, 2005 Representative Donald Payne of New Jersey introduced the Darfur Genocide Accountability Act (HR 1424). Neither of these bills have been passed into law. The FY05 Emergency Supplemental bill approved $90.5 million in relief to Darfur ($50 million for the African Union mission in Darfur and $40.5 million for disaster aid)
What is the World Doing? The U.N. Security Council has passed several ineffective resolutions. The resolutions, which are all bark and no bite, are repeatedly violated by the Sudanese government. The African Union (AU) currently has 2500 troops in Sudan. The AU remains grossly under-funded and ineffective. Many more peacekeeping troops are needed in the region.
This family fled their village after their father and brother were killed, and then the mother fell ill and could no longer walk. So now the family is headed by Haiga Ibrahim, a 16-year-old girl, who is on the left.
Bahria Mohammed Ahmed, right, with her mother at Abu Shouk camp. Two of her children disappeared as the family trekked toward refuge, and she arrived this week without them.
"I talked to scores of refugees who several weeks ago watched as their wives were raped and as their brothers and fathers and sons were killed before their eyes. Scattered. Entire villages wiped out. It's savagery. It's slaughter, and it is going on, in essence, as we speak." U.S. Senator Bill Frist
Children like Magboula are particularly at risk because they no longer are nursing and need food, but are particularly likely to die of diarrhea, malaria and other ailments. Seventy percent of the deaths are children under five.
The main cause of death in the refugee camps is diarrhea which account for ¼ of the recorded deaths.
80% of the children under five years old are suffering from severe malnutrition
These two orphans from Darfur fled to the northern part of the Chad/Sudan border after their parents, uncle and older brother were either killed or went missing in an attack by the Janjaweed militia on their village, Ab-Layha. Nijah Ahmed, 4, is carrying her little brother, Nibraz, who is 13 months old and malnourished.
“At 7am in August 2003, our village was surrounded by the Janjaweed; we heard machine guns and most of the people ran away, some were killed while trying to escape. My sister, M, aged 43, was captured by the military and the Janjaweed. They tried to sleep with her. She resisted, I was present and could hear her: "I will not do something like this even if you kill me" and they immediately killed her.” I, from Miski.
Due to drought and poisoned wells, water is becoming scarcer which will contribute to increased deaths.
“When we tried to escape they shot more children. They raped women; I saw many cases of Janjaweed raping women and girls. They are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish.” A, a 37-year-old from Mukjar
What Can You Do? Write a letter to: – President Bush –Your Representatives and Senators –The United Nations –The State Department Collect signatures for a petition calling for a strong response to the crisis in Darfur. Demonstrate. Organize and/or participate in demonstrations at the Sudan Embassy in Washington D.C. and Sudan Mission and/or UN in NYC.
What Can You Do? Donate money to relief efforts. Fast. Fasting for a day is not only a very personal way to tap into your compassion for the suffering of others, but also a very powerful way to act in solidarity with the people of Darfur. Hold a Sudan fast in solidarity with those who are suffering from hunger and donate the funds that would have been spent on meal. Hold a fundraiser or benefit for Darfur. Funds are desperately needed throughout Darfur and Chad to deliver food, shelter, medical supplies and humanitarian relief. Host a candle-lighting ceremony or candlelight vigil. Invite Experts who are working in the region to discuss the current situation.
What Can You Do (Cont.) Meet with members of Congress as a delegation Organize a small gathering. You can distribute information or watch a video about Darfur. Organize a teach-in or a presentation. Post flyers around your community. Push your local community council to pass a proclamation. Put together a photo exhibit. Wear a Not On My Watch: Save Darfur wristband. Write an email to a friend and explain why this story moves you.