Daily Darfur

Friday, February 25, 2005

Daily Darfur

It has now been one year since Eric Reeves' "Unnoticed Genocide" op-ed appeared in the Washington Post
There can be no reasonable skepticism about Khartoum's use of these militias to "destroy, in whole or in part, ethnic or racial groups" -- in short, to commit genocide. Khartoum has so far refused to rein in its Arab militias; has refused to enter into meaningful peace talks with the insurgency groups; and, most disturbingly, has refused to grant unrestricted humanitarian access. The international community has been slow to react to Darfur's catastrophe and has yet to move with sufficient urgency and commitment. A credible peace forum must be rapidly created. Immediate plans for humanitarian intervention should begin. The alternative is to allow tens of thousands of civilians to die in the weeks and months ahead in what will be continuing genocidal destruction.
Little has changed.

The Boston Globe offers this story
The 60 women they met in the camps told stories of a lawless land, where an atmosphere of intimidation and fear has settled on western Sudan since 2003, when rebels began fighting against the Sudanese government. The now homeless Darfur women say they will never forget the faces of the government-sponsored Arab marauders known as Janjaweed -- Arabic for devils on horseback -- who roam the country at will, burn villages, kill Africans, and often gang-rape women and young girls.


Mason said she believes that the abuse of women is the biggest tragedy to occur in the conflict. ''Every woman we had talked to either had been raped or knew someone that had been raped," she said. ''They were so open with us. They would drop their robes to show us scars all over their arms and legs and backs. They had been beaten and raped -- and most of them gang-raped. Their daughters had been raped. Their lives are shattered."
The Sudan Tribune reprints a Columbia Journalism Review interview with the Washington Post's Emily Wax
Once in Sudan you need a travel permit to leave the capital. During one of my earlier trips, I waited six weeks for a travel permit with another reporter from The Guardian and rented an apartment to prove we would wait. A French delegation finally took us in. [When the trip finally occurred], all these women were crammed into squalid schools and they were handing me notes, lists of people who had been raped. There were over 40 names on the list with things like, "Please help us," written in Arabic. Also, everyone was showing me their flesh wounds. They all thought I was a doctor. I was glad I waited for the travel permit and didn't just go home.

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