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BACK DOOR BOY IN A FRONT DOOR WORLD
OUTSIDE OF SOCIETY - THAT'S WHERE I WANT TO BE
ACTION ALERT 
19th-Oct-2006 08:56 pm
GENOCIDE IS HAPPENING AS YOU READ THIS,
THE HOLOCAUST ALL OVER AGAIN IN 2006.

Over 400,000 murdered in the past 3 years.
2,000,000 forced to flee their homes and villages for their lives and now live in refugee camps.
3,500,000 completely reliant on international aid for survival.
Was NOTHING learned after Rwanda?


Darfur has been embroiled in a deadly conflict for over three years. Not since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has the world seen such a calculated campaign of displacement, starvation, rape, and mass slaughter. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that 350,000 people or more could die in the coming months. Ongoing assessments by independent organizations such as Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) suggest that this estimate may be conservative. If aid is denied or unavailable, as many as a million people could perish.

Lives are hanging in the balance on a massive scale.

Since early 2003, Sudanese armed forces and Sudanese government-backed militia known as “Janjaweed” have been fighting two rebel groups in Darfur, the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The stated political aim of the rebels has been to compel the government of Sudan to address underdevelopment and the political marginalization of the region. In response, the Sudanese government’s regular armed forces and the Janjaweed – largely composed of fighters of Arab nomadic background – have targeted civilian populations and ethnic group from which the rebels primarily draw their support – the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa. I got the following information from Wikipedia:

Darfur Conflict
The Darfur conflict is an ongoing armed conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan, mainly between the Janjaweed, a militia group recruited from local Baggara tribes, and the non-Baggara people (mostly land-tilling tribes) of the region. The Sudanese government, while publicly denying that it supports the Janjaweed, has provided arms and assistance and has participated in joint attacks with the group, systematically targeting the Fur, Zaghawa, and Massaleit ethnic groups in Darfur. The conflict began in July 2003. Unlike in the Second Sudanese Civil War, which was fought between the primarily Muslim north and Christian and Animist south, in Darfur most of the residents are Muslim, as are the Janjaweed.

Estimated number of deaths in the conflict have ranged from 50,000 (World Health Organization, September 2004) to 450,000 (Dr. Eric Reeves, 28 April 2006). Most NGOs use 400,000, a figure from the Coalition for International Justice that has since been cited by the United Nations. As many as 2.5 million are thought to have been displaced. The mass media has described the conflict as both "ethnic cleansing" and "genocide." The U.S. Government has described it as genocide, although the United Nations has declined to do so. (See List of declarations of genocide in Darfur)

After fighting worsened in July and August 2006, on August 31, 2006, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1706 which called for a new 20,000 UN peacekeeping force to supplant or supplement a poorly funded, ill-equipped 7,000-troop African Union force. Sudan strongly objected to the resolution and said that it would see the UN forces in the region as foreign invaders. The next day, the Sudanese military launched a major offensive in the region.

Background
The conflict that is taking place in the Darfur has multiple interwoven causes. While rooted in structural inequity between the center of the country around the Nile and the 'peripheral' areas such as Darfur, tensions were exacerbated in the last two decades of the twentieth century by a combination of environmental calamity, political opportunism and regional geopolitics. A point of particular confusion has been the characterization of the conflict as one between 'Arab' and 'African' populations, a dichotomy that one historian describes as "both true and false"

In the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, the Keira dynasty of the Fur people of the Marrah Mountains established a sultanate with Islam as the state religion. The sultanate was conquered by the Turco-Egyptian force expanding south along the Nile, which was in turn defeated by the Muhammad Ahmad, the self-proclaimed Mahdi. The Mahdist state collapsed under the onslaught of the British force led by Herbert Kitchener, who established an Anglo-Egyptian condominium to rule Sudan. The British allowed Darfur de jure autonomy until 1916 when they invaded and incorporated the region into Sudan. Within Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, the bulk of resources were devoted toward Khartoum and Blue Nile Province, leaving the rest of the country relatively undeveloped.

The inhabitants of the Nile Valley, which had received the bulk of British investment, continued the pattern of economic and political marginalization after independence was achieved in 1956. In the 1968 elections, factionalism within the ruling Umma Party led candidates, notably Sadiq al-Mahdi, to try to split off portions of the Darfuri electorate by blaming the region's underdevelopment on either the Arabs, in the case of appeals to the stationary peoples, or appealing to the Baggara semi-nomads to support their fellow Nile Arabs. This Arab-African dichotomy, which was not an indigenously developed way of perceiving local relations, was exacerbated after Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi became focused on establishing an Arab belt across the Sahel and promulgated an ideology of Arab supremacy. As a result of a sequence of interactions between Sudan, Libya and Chad from the late 1960s through the 1980s, Sudanese President Gaafar Nimeiry established Darfur as a rear base for the rebel force led by Hissène Habré, which was attempting to overthrow the Chadian government and was also anti-Gaddafi.

In 1983 and 1984, the rains failed and the region was plunged into a famine. The famine killed an estimated 95,000 Darfuris out of a population of 3.1 million. Nimeiry was overthrown on 5 April 1985 and Sadiq al-Mahdi came out of exile, making a deal with Gaddafi, which he had no intention of honoring, that he would turn over Darfur to Libya if he was supplied with the funds to win the upcoming elections.

In early 2003, two local rebel groups — the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) — accused the government of oppressing non-Arabs in favor of Arabs. The SLM, which is much larger than the JEM, is generally associated with the Fur and Masalit, as well as the Wagi clan of the Zaghawa, while the JEM is associated with the Kobe clan of Zaghawa. Later that year, leaders of both groups, the Sudanese Government and representatives of the International diplomatic community were brought together in Geneva by the Centre for humanitarian dialogue to look at ways of addressing the humanitarian crisis. In 2004, the JEM joined the Eastern Front, a group set up in 2004 as an alliance between two eastern tribal rebel groups, the Rashaida tribe's Free Lions and the Beja Congress. The JEM has also been accused of being controlled by Hassan al-Turabi. On January 20, 2006, SLM declared a merger with the Justice and Equality Movement to form the Alliance of Revolutionary Forces of West Sudan. However, in May of that year, the SLM and JEM were again negotiating as separate entities.

History of the conflict, 2003-2006
The starting point of the conflict in the Darfur region is typically said to be 26 February 2003, when a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF) publicly claimed credit for an attack on Golu, the headquarters of Jebel Marra District. Even prior to this attack, however, a conflict had erupted in Darfur, as rebels had already attacked police stations, army outposts and military convoys, and the government had engaged in a massive air and land assault on the rebel stronghold in the Marrah mountains. The rebels' first military action was a successful attack on an army garrison on the mountain on 25 February 2002 and the Sudanese government had been aware of a unified rebel movement since an attack on the Golo police station in June 2002. Chroniclers Julie Flint and Alex de Waal state that the beginning of the rebellion is better dated to 21 July 2001, when a group of Zaghawa and Fur met in Abu Gamra and swore oaths on the Quran to work together to defend against government-sponsored attacks on their villages. It should be noted that nearly all of the residents of Darfur are Muslim, as are the Janjaweed and the government leaders in Khartoum.

On 25 March, the rebels seized the garrison town of Tine along the Chadian border, seizing large quantities of supplies and arms. Despite a threat by President Omar al-Bashir to "unleash" the army, the military had little in reserve. The army was already deployed both to the south, where the Second Sudanese Civil War was drawing to an end, and the east, where rebels sponsored by Eritrea were threatening the newly constructed pipeline from the central oilfields to Port Sudan. The rebel tactic of hit-and-run raids using Toyota Land Cruisers to speed across the semi-desert region proved almost impossible for the army, untrained in desert operations, to counter. However, its aerial bombardment of rebel positions on the mountain was devastating.

At 5:30 am on 25 April 2003, a joint SLA-JEM force in 33 Land Cruisers entered al-Fashir and attacked the sleeping garrison. In the next four hours, four Antonov bombers and helicopter gunships, according to the government, (seven according to the rebels) were destroyed on the ground, 75 soldiers, pilots and technicians were killed and 32 were captured, including the commander of the air base, a Major General. The rebels lost nine. The success of the raid was unprecedented in Sudan; in the 20 years of the war in the south, the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army had never carried out such an operation.

On October 16, 2006, Minority Rights Group (MRG) published a critical report, challenging that the UN and the great powers could have prevented the deepening crisis in Darfur and that few lessons appear to have been drawn from their ineptitude during the Rwandan Genocide. MRG's executive director, Mark Lattimer, stated that: "this level of crisis, the killings, rape and displacement could have been foreseen and avoided ... Darfur would just not be in this situation had the UN systems got its act together after Rwanda: their action was too little too late." A 21 September 2006 article by the official UN News Service stated that "UN officials estimate over 400,000 people have lost their lives and some 2 million more have been driven from their homes." This now appears to be the official UN figure.


What YOU can do to educate others
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have responded to the suffering in Darfur by standing up and demanding that their governments take action to end the crisis. However, many individuals still have not heard about the genocide in Darfur.

To build the political will necessary to end the genocide it is imperative that more people learn about the security and humanitarian crisis in Darfur and find out how they can help end the genocide. The situation is so dangerous that humanitarian/aid relief organizations will not allow on-the-ground volunteers as it is simply not safe considering the violence and insecurity, both political and social. There are a number of on-the-ground agencies working in Darfur. You can find a comprehensive list of them at InterAction.

The organization SaveDarfur.org has created materials to help you teach others about the ongoing genocide in Darfur. These resources include background information on the conflict in Darfur, a PowerPoint presentation, recommendations for engaging your audience in advocacy activity on behalf of the people of Darfur, and other resources to help with governmental intervention.Resources


How will history judge us?
SaveDarfur.org's Current TV Commercial



COPY & REPOST:




Here's what will appear on your blog:

GENOCIDE IS HAPPENING AS YOU READ THIS,
THE HOLOCAUST ALL OVER AGAIN IN 2006.

Over 400,000 murdered in the past 3 years.
2,000,000 forced to flee their homes and villages for their lives and now live in refugee camps.
3,500,000 completely reliant on international aid for survival.
Was NOTHING learned after Rwanda?


Darfur has been embroiled in a deadly conflict for over three years. Not since the Rwandan genocide of 1994 has the world seen such a calculated campaign of displacement, starvation, rape, and mass slaughter. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that 350,000 people or more could die in the coming months. Ongoing assessments by independent organizations such as Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) suggest that this estimate may be conservative. If aid is denied or unavailable, as many as a million people could perish.

Lives are hanging in the balance on a massive scale. Learn what you can do to stop this atrocity by reading [info]angry_biscuit's post on Darfur and do all you can, even if its only spreading the word.
Comments 
20th-Oct-2006 02:40 am (UTC)
I am reading Years of Rice and Salt and there is this quote in it that just seems dang well pertinent: "My feeling is that until the number of whole lives is greater than the number of shattered lives, we remain stuck in some kind of prehistory, unworthy of humanity's great spirit. History as a story worth telling will only begin when the whole lives outnumber the wasted ones. That means we have many generations to go before history begins. All the inequalities must end; all the surplus wealth must be equitably distributed. Until then we are still only some kind of gibbering monkey, and humanity, as we usually like to think of it, does not yet exist."

20th-Oct-2006 06:41 am (UTC)
You FREAKIN' rock!!
20th-Oct-2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
I have a huge passion for Africa.
Thank you for posting something like this in your journal.

Love,
Sheryl
20th-Oct-2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the copy & repost option.
20th-Oct-2006 02:47 pm (UTC)
This is a very helpful post... thank you.

It's a shame there's no oil in Darfur. I'm sure this administration would have put a stop to it by now.
20th-Oct-2006 03:48 pm (UTC) - You're not going to like this...
Maybe we should ask GW to bomb them (take their oil) in the name of human rights? ah... just read better_angels comment above... ha! I'm so on today!

I mean... that's what you're asking for, by encouraging foreign military involvement in a domestic dispute.

Is USAID capable of stopping these atrocities?
No.
Is the UN?
haha... UN = USA = GWB

It's a symptom, of a flawed system.

So... what CAN we do that will really help these people in the LONG RUN?
20th-Oct-2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
You always hear about all these Muslim extremist groups screaming bloody murder about America as the Great Satan doing all kinds of evil to Muslims in the middle east.

But when it's Muslims killing Muslims, I hear no protest from that quarter. I guess it's all right as long as you keep genocide all in the family.
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