Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Latest on Darfur

A June 1st report from ABC News offers a horrifying glimpse into the scope of the Sudanese regime's genocidal campaign in Darfur:

The Abu Shouk refugee camp goes on for miles, an expanding slum that grows larger every day in Darfur, the northwest region of Sudan.

The camp, home to 40,000 displaced people a year ago when it was founded, now provides shelter for nearly 100,000.

Since the beginning of the conflict two years ago in this arid northern African country, more than 180,000 people have died from violence, hunger and disease.

Sudan's government and the pro-government Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, are accused of killing, looting and driving out the region's black African population in response to an anti-government rebellion. Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since the country's independence from Britain in 1956 and Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war ever since.


According to the United Nations, there are now a staggering 1.8 million refugees in Darfur and another 250,000 just over the western border in Chad. Although camps like Abu Shouk offer food and shelter, tribal leaders claim that these shanty towns have become like prisons where people are trapped and afraid to leave.

The refugee who said she'd lost her family and home explained that she wasn't leaving because, "there is still fighting there."

"We believe there is a lot more the government can do," said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick during his visit to Darfur in April. "We also have to work with the rebel groups. You got to try to stop the violence; you got to get on top of the banditry."

A lot more the government can do? My God, who do you think is behind the violence and "banditry"?

Photographer Brian Steidle, who witnessed the systematic killing there, said, "The government and the Janjaweed, side by side, go in and attack the village and kill anything and anybody that moves."

The government official in charge of security forces in Darfur, Abdul Rahim Muhammed Hussein, denies any such thing. "It never happened, it never happened," he repeated.

Hussein acknowledged there are photographs of people in Sudanese army uniforms at the destroyed villages, but he said there are photographs of the American army doing bad things in prisons too.

Analysts say such denial is one reason diplomatic efforts have not worked.

Wonderful, a regime in the process of committing ethnic cleansing and mass murder is allowed to get away with it just by shouting "Abu Ghraib". Here is the price of the moral relativist nonsense espoused by Amnesty International and others. Several months' worth of abusive conduct in a prison is considered the equivalent of a full blown campaign of genocide.

There is ample evidence of the role of the Sudanese government in the Darfur atrocities. The Bush Administration must do everything possible to see that the genocide is brought to an end and the regime in Khartoum held accountable for its actions.


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