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Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

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Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by Mazy on Sun Jul 21 2013, 07:48

N.Kristor besides other things is also an activist. I am not 100% sure put I think that he and his wife wrote most of the documentary that George narrated, "Half the Sly." I know they were in it for sure.

OP-ED COLUMNIST
Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: July 20, 2013

ABGADAM REFUGEE CAMP, Chad — ASIYA TAHIR, 20, had her 4-month-old baby, Mariam, on her back in April when three armed men in Sudanese military uniforms seized her and her sister at a well in Darfur.

On the Ground
The soldiers beat Asiya and then — according to both sisters who were interviewed separately — pulled Mariam off her back and laughingly checked to see if she was a boy or a girl. Grabbing Mariam by one arm, a soldier flung her into the distance.

“You’re lucky she’s a girl,” Asiya remembers one of the soldiers saying. “If that were a boy, we would have cut his throat.”
Mariam survived the throw but still has health problems from it. That’s Darfur this year, as Sudan’s state-sponsored genocidal machinery revs up again.

The resumption of mass atrocities in Darfur, after a bit of a lull, has led villagers to flee to this refugee camp, Abgadam, in southeast Chad. It is full of Darfuris who have arrived in recent months after Sudanese government-sponsored militias began a new spasm of murder, rape and pillage against two minority ethnic groups.

Survivors tell the same stories: Armed men, often in army uniforms, burned their villages, killed men, raped women and took everything they had, while calling them slaves or saying that their tribe would be wiped out in Darfur.

It is now 10 years since the Darfur genocide began, and we in the news media have mostly tired of the issue. It’s no longer news that the Sudanese government is slaughtering its people.

Yet our silence empowers Sudan’s leaders to pick up where they left off in Darfur. Indeed, survivors say that one of the leaders in this year’s attacks was Ali Kushayb, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed in Darfur a decade ago.

Because of the resurgence of violence, the United Nations Refugee Agency has hurriedly built this camp for the Darfuris, and it is saving lives. But, while the world is willing to spend more than $1 billion annually assisting survivors of attacks in Darfur, it seems unwilling to stand up to President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan or even speak out very forcefully.
The world has moved on, but the killing continues.

This is the last stop on my annual win-a-trip journey, in which I take a student on a reporting trip to the developing world. The winner, Erin Luhmann of the University of Wisconsin, and I hope to shine a bit more light on the continuing slaughter in Darfur — and on the courage and resilience of the survivors.

Sheltering under one tree here in the Abgadam camp were three small children, all orphans from bloodletting in Darfur. The oldest is a 9-year-old girl named Asiya who is now effectively mother to her brothers, Muhammad, 7, and Yasin, 2. The mother and father were shot dead in their home by a Sudanese government-backed militia, villagers say.

The victims in this year’s wave of attacks are members of two Arab ethnic groups that have not previously been singled out in Darfur, the Salamat (including the three orphans) and the Beni Hussein.

Sudan apparently drove out the Beni Hussein because government officials covet gold that has been discovered on their land. It seems to be expelling the Salamat because it distrusts them and prefers to give their land as a reward to a more loyal Arab group, the Miseriya.

The United Nations has estimated that more than 300,000 Darfuris were displaced in the first five months of this year — roughly as many as in the last two years combined.

Halima Ahmed, 28, told how a convoy of pickups with mounted machine guns arrived at her village, and soldiers in Sudanese military uniforms then started shooting.

“They shot my husband, and he fell down,” she said. “And then they cut his throat.”

Hawa Mansal, 35, said that all five of her brothers were shot, four fatally. Soldiers debated whether to shoot her as well, but then decided that they shouldn’t kill a woman, she said.

Those killed seem to have been overwhelmingly adult men, but also small numbers of women and children. One Beni Hussein leader here in the Abgadam camp, Sheik Abdullah al-Nazir, told me that five of his sons had been shot dead in the family house; the youngest was 3 years old.

There are no easy solutions when a government commits serial atrocities. But there are steps that the United States and other countries can take — including speaking out much more forcefully — that raise the cost to Sudan for this kind of behavior.

International criticism has sometimes moderated the brutality of President Bashir. When there’s a spotlight on Darfur, killings and rapes tend to subside a bit. Bipartisan legislation — the Sudan Peace, Security and Accountability Act of 2013 — aims to create such a spotlight. It’s not a panacea, but it may help at the edges.

In the mid-2000s, an ambitious senator from Illinois complained eloquently that the White House was too silent in the face of evil in Darfur. Is it too much to ask that President Obama recall his own words — and speak out again?

I invite you to comment on this column on my blog, On the Ground, where you can also read the latest blog posts from this year's win-a-trip winner, Erin Luhmann. Please also join me on Facebook and Google+, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.

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Mazy
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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by it's me on Sun Jul 21 2013, 09:51

Thanks for keeping us informed
But it's so sad to hear things are still atrocious like that

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by party animal - not! on Sun Jul 21 2013, 10:57

Good grief.......Bashir just seems to be able to move into great swathes of north Africa and seemingly do whatever he likes whether he's been accused of atrocities by the ICC or not!

And Chad is not exactly the safest of havens.

When you have the likes of Nicolas Kristoff (one of whose original articles started His Nibs' interest in Darfur and whole region in the first place) and John Prendergast sounding the alarm bells over and over again, you cannot but take heed.

World, where are you?!!

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by mosaic on Sun Jul 21 2013, 12:00

Wait...Kristof says the UN estimates 300,000 were displaced just in the first few months this year. I thought that the other article stated the UN had stopped counting? Am I missing something?

As I was reading the story of the baby Marian on the back of Asiya, a feeling of dread at what the soldiers were going to do to both of them washed over me. After what I have learned goes on, I was imagining all kinds of horrible acts and I am glad that my worst fears were not realized.

I'm glad that Kristof is still putting this out there to keep Sudan and Darfur in front of people. The more heat we put on Bashir, the more likely he will be ousted from power.

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Jul 21 2013, 14:48

As long as Sudan provides oil, the world will do nothing of consequence to Bashir.

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by Vi on Sun Jul 21 2013, 15:10

ja

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by party animal - not! on Sun Jul 21 2013, 15:16

Huge irony there. In theory I think I'm right in saying that most of the oil is in the disputed Abeyi region, but largely administered by South Sudan, but in Darfur it's going to be dictated by the gold deposits.

And that's why the Chinese got involved in supplying Bashir with guns, tanks and trucks in exchange for mining rights......still not sure that's enough not to bring al Bashir to trial - after all, he helped Bin Laden for a decade......

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by silly girl on Sun Jul 21 2013, 15:20

I just saw the Kristoff article on facebook...so sad....the photo he posted is heartbreaking.

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by Mazy on Sun Jul 21 2013, 18:51

LornaDoone wrote:As long as Sudan provides oil, the world will do nothing of consequence to Bashir.

Apparently this is one of the reasons that George wants to get the coffee farms going. It will help the Sudanese to help themselves with out all the bloodshed that goes along with the gold mine and oil production.

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by LornaDoone on Sun Jul 21 2013, 19:45

Yes but I think Bashir is just that greedy that even the coffee would be something he would go after.

The man has no conscience and no morals. He is truly an evil person who cares nothing for anyone but himself.


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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

Post by Mazy on Mon Jul 22 2013, 21:38

LornaDoone wrote:Yes but I think Bashir is just that greedy that even the coffee would be something he would go after.

The man has no conscience and no morals.  He is truly an evil person who cares nothing for anyone but himself.


You are right Lorna but hopefully it won't be as easy to steal. The beans have to be at a certain ripeness, they would have to go from farm to farm to get them and then truck the out without getting caught. However, they are smarter then I am at stealing so they might devise a way.

I wholeheartedly agree alBashir is very evil. On twitter I have a picture of him that I put the words EVIL BASHIR on so I don't have to use that many spaces. I don't believe in hate, but I think I hate him evil is all you can say about him.

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Re: Darfur in 2013 Sounds Awfully Familiar

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