Sunday, April 02, 2006

Darfur: 'Disaster of Biblical Proportions'

Here are a couple of reports from the Coalition for Darfur blog. By tracking the headlines coming from this blog I've learned more than I could by reading, avidly, the news. First up: Coalition for Darfur: Darfur: Aid Worker Fears 'Disaster of Biblical Proportions'

Matthew McGarry has spent a year crisscrossing West Darfur with food and aid to help the victims of a government-supported campaign of rape, killing, looting and destruction. Unless the situation improves quickly, he fears he may have only delayed their horrible fate.

Not only has violence flared up again, hindering humanitarian aid but the conflict has spilled into neighboring Chad. To make matters worse, money is running short after a year wracked with international crises.
'If there is no progress or a solution or relief funds dry out, all the work that went in keeping people alive is going to vanish,' said McGarry, a 27-year-old relief coordinator for Christian Relief Services.

He fears a 'disaster of biblical proportions' unless more people pay attention to this parched corner of Africa.
Next up, President George Bush on Wednesday Said That 'Genocide Has to be Stopped
In remarks that do far more to highlight US impotence and lack of resolve, President Bush went on to declare that, “‘this is serious business. This is not playing a diplomatic holding game.... When we say genocide, that means genocide has to be stopped’” (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, South African Press Agency [dateline: Washington, DC], March 29, 2006).

Perhaps President Bush has forgotten that his administration made a formal genocide determination over a year and a half ago: on September 9, 2004 then-Secretary of State Colin Powell testified to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “genocide has been committed in Darfur, and the government of Sudan and the Janjawid bear responsibility.” The many hundreds of thousands of Darfuris who have subsequently perished, experienced violent displacement, rape, torture, and the misery of lives defined by fear and deprivation provide gruesomely abundant evidence that the genocide continues. These victims also make clear that the Bush administration does not really regard genocide in Darfur---and increasingly eastern Chad---as urgent or “serious business.” In fact, all evidence suggests that the administration is indeed playing precisely a “diplomatic holding game.”

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