SUDAN WATCH: Racism at the root of Darfur atrocities

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Racism at the root of Darfur atrocities

Within the next 24 hours, we will probably know the findings of the UN's inquiry into genocide in Darfur.

After nine months of blogging almost daily about Darfur, my view is that racism is at the root of all the troubles within Darfur. If the UN report does not conclude that crimes against humanity have been committed in Darfur, I will be shocked. To me, the following extract, from an opinion piece titled "Inside Darfur: Ethnic Genocide by a Governance Crisis" just about sums it up:
"Darfur is not an accidental apocalypse of mass slaughter, enslavement, pillage and ethnic cleansing. The Darfur pogrom is part of a historic continuum in which successive Arab governments have sought to entirely destroy black Africans in this bi-racial nation."
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62-year old Arab Muslim Mohammad Ali Salih, Washington correspondent for Saudi-owned London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, writes an interesting story of a security alert he recently experienced in Washington. Sadly, such experiences must be commonplace in many other countries. People never cease to be defined by their origins. Although my mother is Austrian born, she has been a British citizen for the past 52 years. My late father was English born. My brother and I received a British education and consider ourselves wholly British, as does our mother. A few years ago, an English person upon hearing me say my mother was born in Austria, turned to me and said vehemently (60 years after WWII) as if speaking of an enemy: "yes, but WHOSE side was SHE on in the war?"

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