Postcard from Darfur
Never again is turning into "Oh no, not again".
"In the last two months the security situation has deteriorated dramatically. United Nations personnel have withdrawn from parts of the region because of increased violence, the humanitarian relief work of international nongovernmental organizations has been greatly restricted, and the civilian toll is again climbing."The appointment of a high-level envoy will be a visible symbol of renewed political and diplomatic will to resolve the Darfur crisis. Read more at TPMCafe - Finding the political will. [with thanks to Eric at Passion of the Present]
"Darfur is Rwanda in slow motion. The hand wringing began 19 months ago, when the death toll was at 10,000, and I bored everyone here about it. To date, more than 400,000 Darfuris have perished, half the number of Rwanda. There is still no news of what became of the five point plan Tony Blair personally delivered to Khartoum. Look at tv news and note how all the trouble in the world boils down to boys with their toys and the games they play. Men around the world really do not care about the suffering of millions of defenceless African women and children or about rape being used as a weapon of war. Not a lot of Africans are interested either. It is so sickening to witness, I have had to take a break from blogging Darfur because I am at a loss as to what to do or say about it anymore."- - -
"In April, the CIA sent a plane to Khartoum to bring Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, Sudan's intelligence chief, to the U.S. for meetings at the agency's headquarters.- - -
Sudan, accused by the Bush administration of conducting genocide in the Darfur region, has rounded up extremist suspects for questioning by the CIA and detained foreign militants transiting through the country on their way to join Iraqi insurgents."
Labels: Salah Abdallah Gosh
"Thousands of people have arrived at the region's sprawling aid camps after rebels and government-backed Janjaweed militia stepped up attacks during the past six weeks.Regular readers here at Sudan Watch may recall the afternoon of 7 April 2005 when International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Deputy Prosecutor (investigations) Serge Brammertz, Deputy Prosecutor (prosecutions) Fatou Bensouda and Chef de Cabinet Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi in a meeting at the site of the ICC opened a sealed list of 51 individuals named by the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry as suspects of grave international crimes in Darfur.
And the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that November's harvest will be disrupted if the violence continues."
This child had his face bashed in, presumably with a rifle butt, during a massacre in Hamada in January 2005.Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company/Nicholas D. Kristof (via Richard at Hyscience with thanks)
The photo above was taken in the village of Hamada on Jan. 15, 2005 right after a Sudanese government-backed militia, the janjaweed, attacked it and killed 107 people. One of them was this little boy.
Kristof writes: "I'm not showing the photo of his older brother, about 5 years old, who lay beside him because the brother had been beaten so badly that nothing was left of his face. And alongside the two boys was the corpse of their mother."
Photo: This man was castrated and then shot in the head. This is a common fate of male prisoners taken by the Janjaweed.
Photo: Here's Zahra again. After her husband and sons were murdered, the Janjaweed carried her and her sisters off and gang-raped them. The sisters were murdered, and Zahra was finally released, naked, after the Janjaweed slashed her leg to mark her forever.
There are thousands more of these photos. Many of them show attacks on children and are too horrific for a newspaper.
One wrenching photo in the archive shows the manacled hands of a teenager from the girls' school in Suleia who was burned alive. It's been common for the Sudanese militias to gang-rape teenage girls and then mutilate or kill them.
Another photo shows the body of a young girl, perhaps 10 years old, staring up from the ground where she was killed. Still another shows a man who was castrated and shot in the head.
This archive, including scores of reports by the monitors on the scene, underscores that this slaughter is waged by and with the support of the Sudanese government as it tries to clear the area of non-Arabs. Many of the photos show men in Sudanese Army uniforms pillaging and burning African villages. I hope the African Union will open its archive to demonstrate publicly just what is going on in Darfur.
The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a janjaweed official that apparently outlines genocidal policies. Dated last August, the document calls for the "execution of all directives from the president of the republic" and is directed to regional commanders and security officials.
"Change the demography of Darfur and make it void of African tribes," the document urges. It encourages "killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people, confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them from Darfur."
It's worth being skeptical of any document because forgeries are possible. But the African Union believes this document to be authentic. I also consulted a variety of experts on Sudan and shared it with some of them, and the consensus was that it appears to be real.