SUDAN WATCH: All I Want for Christmas is for women to nurture and run Africa ... to Remember the Poor ... and Human Rights for All

Friday, December 23, 2005

All I Want for Christmas is for women to nurture and run Africa ... to Remember the Poor ... and Human Rights for All

Last December, the senior pastor of Ginghamsburg church in America, Mike Slaughter, challenged his parishioners to spend only one-half of what they would normally spend on Christmas gifts and bring the rest in for a Sudan Project.

That challenge resulted in a $317,000 offering, which Ginghamsburg is using to fund a sustainable agricultural program in Darfur.

Since January 2005, CHF International has distributed over 25,000 egg-laying chickens in Darfur, benefiting c. 8,000 IDP families (44,000 individuals), which have produced over 1.5 million eggs.
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Sudan Christmas Cards

This December, Ginghamsburg has Sudan Christmas Cards:

Sudan Christmas Card

Front: All I Want For Christmas
Inside: ...is for you to remember the poor - Jesus
Back: features information on how the recipient can be involved in The Sudan Project.
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Darfuris have little to look forward to in New Year

UN says Darfur sliding into anarchy and deteriorating further in last week.

The International Criminal Court has 51 Darfur war criminals on its list while ICC Prosecutor uncovers evidence of campaign of atrocities in Darfur.

Sudan gets away with barring investigations and telling the world HRW's report is ridiculous.

The regime in Khartoum have nothing to fear. Sanctions will never be imposed. Murder, rape and other crimes against humanity will go unpunished. Darfur war criminals will never be arrested. Khartoum is too useful to West in its war against terrorism. The world's tepid reaction to genocide in Darfur says (to me anyway) uneducated black nomads are not equally as important as educated rich black or white folk.

In the last two decades, the Sudanese government proved themselves capable of destroying two million Sudanese lives.

Current Darfur death toll stands at 400,000 and rising.

Rwanda's genocide cost 800,000 lives.

Darfur is Rwanda in slow motion.
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Christmas in Sudan

There are about 1.5 million Christians in Sudan. Christmas in Sudan is a time of joy, prayer, and getting together with friends and family.

In South Sudan, Christmas starts on December 23rd, and lasts until January 15th. For Christmas, people always wear their best clothes. If they can afford it, they get new clothes and bedsheets, and goats and bulls are slaughtered.

Church Under Tree

Photo: Nimule, Southern Sudan: Church Under A Tree. Many people in South Sudan do not have a church building, so they have church under a tree.

Following material courtesy Kids of the Nile:
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The Nuba Mountains

The Nuba Mountain area is in Southern Kordofan, in the center of Sudan.

The Nuba people are the grandchildren of the people of the Kush kingdom of the 8th century. They are a mixture of dozens of different tribes with different cultures and languages.

The Nuba hills rise sharply from the plains, sometimes in long ranges. They rise some 500-1000 metres from the surrounding plains. The mountains are rocky, with hill slopes and valleys. The Nuba are mostly farmers, cultivating fields in the hills, at the foot of the hills, and in the plains.

Nuba

Nuba photo: The most famous dance which the Nuba have, is the 'Kambala Dance'.

The Kambala is a spiritual dance, and it has much to do with bringing up Nuba men to be brave, and courageous like a bull. That's why they wear the buffalo horns when they dance.

When the day for Kambala to start is announced all the young men who have reached 12-14 years of age have to join in and dance with the adults.
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Omdurman and Khartoum

Omdurman is a beautiful city that lies on the White Nile, opposite to Khartoum the capital of Sudan, Africa's largest country.

Khartoum means "elephant trunk" in Arabic. It is a "tri-town" city, made of three towns: Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri.

Omdurman is a place of many important events in the history of Sudan and its independence.

Nile Boat

Photo: Sailor on the White Nile in Omdurman, in the area of "Abu Rofe", where many people go to fish.

Khartoum is where the Blue and White Niles both meet to make the mighty Nile River, the longest river in the world. You can actually see the two different "colours" mix together where the two rivers meet.

When the city was first established, Khartoum was the political city, where the government buildings were.

Omdurman was the residential city where most people lived and had their homes, and Bahri was the industrial city, where you would find factories, mills, and train stations.

You can go up and down the Blue Nile on a sailboat, ferry, or cross over to Tutti Island. Trees are heavy with plump, ripe mango, guava, and lemon trees.
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Port Sudan

Port Sudan is the main port in the northeast of Sudan, where ships come in from all over the world through the Red Sea to reach the people of Sudan.

Port Sudan is famous for its rich sea life, fun things like fishing in the Red Sea swimming, deap-sea diving, water-skiing. On a boat ride, legend has it that, if you look hard enough, you can see the lights of Jeddah, all the way across the Sea in Saudi Arabia. Beautiful underwater features like coral reefs, starfish, swordfish, and more.

Red Sea

Photo of Red Sea: Port Sudan is nicknamed, "The Bride of the Sea" because of its beautiful nature, and beaches. The weather is really humid because of the Sea.
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Sudan's President Omar Bashir named as world's worst living dictator

Khartoum Weather this Christmas week is sunny with highs of around 95 and lows around 70.

Republican Palace Khartoum, Sudan

Photo: This is the Republican Palace in Khartoum, where the President Omar al-Bashir lives. Last year, President Bashir ranked a mere seventh among the 10 worst dictators but this year's list, published ten months ago when Darfur death toll was reported at 70,000, has him as the worst of the worst.

Despite UN resolutions and the international community imploring President Bashir to rein in his Janjaweed militia, he and his regime denies backing the Janjaweed. In October 2004, BBC correspondent Koert Lindijer filed a news report entitled "Reining in the militia" in which he said he saw President Bashir five months earlier addressing a meeting of his supporters in Nyala, south Darfur, and saluting the assembled Janjaweed fighters: "Long live the Mujahideen."
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Two million Sudanese perished in S Sudan

2m Sudanese perished in S Sudan

Photo: "Gubbat al Mahdi" in Omdurman is where Al Mahdi, the man who fought for Sudan's independence, was buried. You have to wonder what he'd think of Darfur today. Up until January 9th of this year, when a peace agreement was signed for South Sudan, two million Sudanese had perished in a 22-year long internal war.
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400,000 Sudanese die in Darfur, western Sudan

On December 8, some activists rallied at the US State Department in Washington DC challenging US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take immediate action to stop the genocide in Darfur.

400,000 Sudanese die in Darfur, W Sudan

Photo: Protesters participate in a 'Die in for Darfur: Turn Up the Heat on Rice' while demonstrating in front of the US State Department in Washington, DC, 8 Dec 2005. (AFP/File/Jim Watson)

Recently, Dr Rice launched a behind-the-scenes lobbying effort this week to persuade Congress to appropriate $50 million in funding for an African Union effort to halt genocidal killings in Darfur.

But on Dec 18 Congressional aides said that Rice's attempt may have been a case of too little, too late. They said lawmakers have no plan on Darfur troop funding adding extra funding for Darfur to a federal budget that is stretched thin by Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, the Iraq war, and planning for avian flu.

Dr Condoleezza Rice

Photo: Dr Condoleezza Rice
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Christmas, a new ray of hope

Excerpt from the spiritual journey by Celestino Paul published by Sudan Mirror December, 2003:

"In Sudan today how difficult it is to be a brother and sister to one another, how difficult it is to say to the one who has killed your parents and children, robbed you of all your possessions and rendered you homeless. To one before whom you are nothing but a slave. Yet it is what we must say this Christmas, the day on which God himself reaffirms the equal dignity of every human being, respect and love to everyone.

Our quest for peace can be sensible if it is based on the principle of brotherhood. The argument for peace cannot be the unity of the country alone. It cannot be the improvement of the economy alone. The victorious cry for peace is: Every Sudanese is my brother and sister. The cry for war is the denial of God who created the brotherhood and himself became part of it. May this Christmas be a turning point in our history, adding a new chapter to our presence in Sudan, where we will no longer identify ourselves as Keresh (Gbaya), Ndogo, Zande, Bari, Balanda, Nuer, Dinka, Lathuho; but simply as children of God. There will be news of great joy for Sudan. May this Christmas help us to walk together in peace. May the new year be a year of life. Remember God is with us in all endeavours for peace."
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Africa, Democracy and Human Rights For All

Dr D is an Associate Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College and specialises in human rights and African politics.

Dr D's Human rights 4 all-Africa blog has interesting comments at a post discussing Africa's ability to handle democracy or not.

My view is democracy might work if all the crazy men that Africans allow to rule their countries were deposed and replaced with strong African women. Read Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's story in recent New York Times and see how Africa's first female president is ready to repay a favour.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Photo: Dr Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
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Spotlight on Darfur - Christmas Edition

Congratulations to Catez of Allthings2all in New Zealand and fellow bloggers for the Christmas Edition of Spotlight on Darfur. This post is dedicated to them and all bloggers keeping the spotlight on Darfur day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year:

Jim, Joanne and Eric at Passion of the Present
Eric Reeves
Eugene's Coalition for Darfur
Genocide Intervention Network
Bill's Jewels in the Jungle
Eddie somewhere at sea with US navy
UN Dispatch
Global Voices
Sudan Man
The Sudan Project
Loaded Mouth.

Here's wishing peace for the tribes of Sudan [click on each photo], the 200,000 refugees trapped in Chad, those in Cairo, Egypt who are protesting but not getting anywhere) - and not forgetting the Baby Mogo's of Sudan.

Who does not wish peace within a united Sudan? The stability of Sudan is fundamental to the whole of the African continent.

God bless them and all donors, peacemakers and foreign troops and aid workers who risk their lives to provide protection, food, shelter, medicine and comfort to millions of Sudanese in need.

African Union soldier in Darfur

Further reading:

The Darfur Collection
Spotlight on Darfur 1
Spotlight On Darfur 2
Spotlight on Darfur 3

1 Comments:

Blogger Black River Eagle said...

God Bless you Ingrid for being so focused and relentless via the Sudan Watch blog on the plight of the refugees from Darfur and southern Sudan. Hoping that next year will be a much better year for people in crisis all across Africa and around the world.

Best wishes to you and Ophelia for the Christmas Holidays 2005.

Saturday, December 24, 2005  

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