Thursday, April 20, 2006

Sudan: An Introduction

The genocide currently going on in Sudan is horrific. After the Rwandan genocide, which could have been prevented by the world, the world said never again. Despite that month after month goes by with little being done about the tragedy which even the CIA lists as having "ongoing genocide" on their website. For my readers who know little about Sudan and the genocide going on this will be a brief introduction to the conflict and the country.

Sudan is one of the largest countries in the world and in fact the largest country in Africa. Their history is mixed due to colonization by many powers. Many years ago it was known as Nubia and was one of the more glorious kingdoms in Ancient Africa. Later it became influenced by the expanse of Islam as well as Arab tribes. Like the rest of Africa however it was carved up and put together by a European power, for Sudan it was the British. It got independence from joint British-Egyptian control in 1956 after the Second World War.

Sudan today is a member of both the African Union and the Arab League. Its ruled by an Authoritarian regime under President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. The country is ruled by a mixture of Sharia and British Common Law. Sudan has been embroiled in conflict for many years. There has been many conflicts between the Northern Khartoum government and the southern tribes. An agreement was reached which gave the southern states more autonomy and abstention from Sharia law as many in the South are either Christian or practice indigenous religions.

The government has been on a campaign of "arabizing" the country. A horrible word and even worse program of ideas of racial purity which, has been seen in Germany in the 40s, former Yugoslavia in the 90s, and Rwanda in 94. The official language is Arabic and Arab raiding groups known as the janjaweed. Not all targets are African some are Arabs as well as some Africans who are participating in the genocide. The janjaweed are funded by the Sudanese government to attack the people of Sudan. They will go into towns obliterate the entire town, then move on to the next. Men are almost always killed while womyn sometimes instead are mass raped. Rape campaigns were also widely used in Yugoslavia during the genocide there. So far according to Fatama Haroun member of the Darfur Rehabilitation Project and the Sudan Peace Advocates Network, "...up to 700,000 people have been killed, either by direct killing or by disease and malnutrition,"[DN!]. That is genocide, it has been going on since February 2003 so, it may not be as fast as say Nazi Germany or Extremist Rwanda, but it is still genocide while the world watches.

The African Union did put in a peacekeeping force, but due to huge underfunding there is not nearly as much done as could be. The United States, Russia, China and, Algeria have blocked the United Nation's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on briefing the Security Council about the situation, and the Sudanese government has been playing games with the international community[DN!]. The first step made by the United States has been to seek UN sanctions on four Sudanese individuals[WP]. In my opinion trying to sanction four individuals for what your own foreign intelligence call ongoing genocide is a joke if anything. I think a joint peacekeeping taskforce should be brought in led by the African Union and Arab League then propped up by the United Nations and international money.

For more information about the Crisis visit:
Amnesty International: Sudan
Be A Witness
Doctors Without Borders: Sudan
Genocide Intervention Network
Human Rights Watch: Sudan
International Committee of the Red Cross/crescent: Sudan
Students Take Action Now Darfur: Canada
Survivors United To Save the Women of Darfur

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ten Things You Can Do Right Now to Stop Genocide

3:36 p.m.  

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