The government of Sudan is engaging in genocide against three large African tribes in its Darfur region. . . . Some 1,000 people are being killed a week, tribeswomen are being systematically raped . . . and Sudan’s army is even bombing the survivors. – Nicholas Kristof, “Will We Say ‘Never Again’ Yet Again?” The New York Times, March 27
Sudan was elected Tuesday [May 4] to serve a three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Commission, provoking a walkout by a senior U.S. diplomat who accused the government [of Sudan] of helping to drive more than a million African villagers from their homes in Sudan’s Darfur province. – Colum Lynch, The Washington Post, May 5
In a BBC interview on March 19, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, said of the genocide in Darfur that it is “the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis, and I don’t know why the world isn’t doing more about it. . . . The only difference between Rwanda and Darfur now is the numbers involved.”
The Arab killers and rapists in Darfur are Muslims, and so are the victims—black African farmers. The Arabs are herdsmen, and have been competing for water, forage, and the land itself with the African farmers. Sudan’s government is supporting the Arab Janjaweed militia’s ferocious intent to make Darfur, in the west of Sudan, “Zurga-free.” That term is the equivalent of “nigger” used by white racists. It also echoes the Nazis’ mission to make Europe “judenfrei”—Jew-free.
The African farmers and the Arab militia have been engaged in a civil war for over a year—with the farmers represented by two groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. But to give an idea of how huge the odds are in favor of the Arab Janjaweed, there is this April 23 report from Human Rights Watch:
“In a joint operation in the Darfur region of Sudan, government troops working with Arab militias detained 136 African men whom the militias massacred hours later. . . . Said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch:
” ‘These militias work in unison with government troops, with total impunity for their massive crimes.’ ”
Nicholas Kristof, who interviewed displaced African farmers at the border of Sudan and Chad, reported in The New York Times about the choices that parents still trapped in Darfur have to make “when the Janjaweed seize their children, or gang-rape their daughters.
“Should they resist, knowing they will then be shot at once in front of their children? Or what about the parents described by Human Rights Watch who were allowed by the militia to choose how their children would die, burned alive or shot to death?”
U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, guilty, along with President Bill Clinton, of failing to stop the genocide in Rwanda—see Samantha Power’s “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (HarperCollinsPerennial)—is trying to show penance. On April 7 he said of the atrocities in Darfur, “The international community cannot stand idle.”
And George W. Bush, after first only mildly rebuking Sudan president Omar al-Bashir on March 22, told that brutal ruler on April 7 that the Khartoum government “must immediately stop local militias from committing atrocities against the local population and must provide unrestricted access to humanitarian aid agencies [which Khartoum had kept out of Darfur, along with all media].” Added Bush: “I condemn these atrocities.”
So on April 11, a 45-day cease-fire took effect, arranged between the Sudanese government and the two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement. That “truce” has been continually and ruthlessly violated by the Janjaweed and their partners in genocide, the government of Sudan.
As BBC news reported on April 13, quoting U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher: “We do still have reports that the government-supported Arab militias are attacking parts of western and southern Darfur. . . . There are also reports of continuing aerial bombardments.” On April 16, the BBC added: “Janjaweed burned down several villages . . . and many civilians, many women and children, have been killed.”
On Friday, April 23, the obscenity that is the United Nations Human Rights Commission addressed the continuous horrors in Sudan. Among its members are such pitiless abusers of human rights as Zimbabwe, Cuba, and China—and now Sudan!
In a superb account of the deadly hypocrisy of this U.N. Human Rights Commission in the April 28 New York Sun, Minky Worden, Human Rights Watch’s electronic-media director, wrote:
“On Friday, Sudan escaped U.N. censure with barely a slap on the wrist, rather than the harsh denunciation it deserved. The commission voted to express ‘concern’ about the situation in Darfur, stopping short of a formal condemnation.”
Remember the black African parents’ choice: You want your children burned alive or shot to death?
Then, on May 4, the primary source of this genocide was elected to serve a three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Commission!
Walking out in disgust, American ambassador Sichan Siv said: “The United States is perplexed and dismayed by the decision to put forward Sudan—a country that massacres its own African citizens—for election to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.”
Next week: how the United Nations, on May 7, allowed the government of Sudan to continue killing and raping its own black African citizens. How can Kofi Annan—especially after his complicity in Rwanda—silently justify this indelible stain on the U.N.