Posted by: bklunk | October 24, 2006

Wow! I Would Like to Hear More

Here’s another one from YoungPilgram. It’s worth a click to check out the site linked here. I only wish the poster had had more to say about this powerful site.Body Outside Adwa
You have to see it to believe it

Brian Steidle was a former member of the African Union team, which was monitoring the genocide in Darfur. Here’s a link to see the pictures he took of the human slaughter. You can also read the article he wrote for the Washington Post about his experience in Darfur.

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  1. What is it going to take for the world to respond? To what level does the violence have to escalate before something is done? What evidence is needed before genocide is pronounced? There is a need for the UN to clarify the term genocide, because under the current terms acts like this in Sudan are being allowed to continue. The UN has an agreement to act in a situation if it can prove that genocide is taking place. However, when a government is behind these acts of violence, like in Sudan, they’re not going to allow for that evidence to be gathered. I am amazed that Brian Steidle was able to go in with a camera to document the things that are taking place. Perpetrators of such atrocitties will always find an excuse to make their actions seem right. However, there are thousands and thousands of people that are being affected by this ongoing tragedy. How many more pictures and stories need to get out before the world acts?

  2. In 2002, the US accused the Sudanese government of genocide in its Sudan Peace Act. Many European states have also called it genocide. The US currently gives 85 percent of the aid to help the displaced in Darfur, and to help the 8,000 AU forces fight the Janjaweed. The UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution to send 22,000 troops in to mediate the conflict, in an effort to help or replace the AU troops. The Sudanese government, however, will not allow this. Contrary to what many people believe, the situation IS on the table, and the US and other governments are trying to resolve it.
    But we can’t invade.
    The US military is spread too thin, and with the ongoing, neverending war in Iraq costing us $8 billion a week, it is difficult if not impossible to divert funds into another war that would be, in essence, neverending. Civil wars are difficult, if not impossible, to mediate militarily. Since it is the government who is sponsoring the Janjaweed, military intervention would mean toppling the government, disarming the various factions, restoring law and order, helping the people to set up a representative government, and restoring the infrastructure. It’s easier said than done. Look to Iraq.
    Look also to Somalia. In 1992 in order to stop warlords from killing innocent civilians (what some were calling genocide at the time) President Bush lead the UN into Somalia with 25,000 troops, mostly US Marines. The warlords didn’t like this very much, and assassinated 24 Pakistani troops, which led to (among other things) a US task force sent in to kill or capture the man responsible for this, Mohamed Farrah Aidid. The movie Black Hawk Down picks up at this point: it was a disaster, where an estimated 500-1000 Somalis killed, and 18 American soldiers dying.
    In this battle, the US was the victim of Vietnamization: the Americans killed were mutilated and dragged through the streets, all caught on camera, where Americans saw it on CNN. Consequently, the US pulled out, as did the UN within a year. Somalia is still in shambles.
    In short, it is nearly impossible to mediate this situation with troops on the ground, which is why the best we can do is give food, money, and other aid. And pray.

  3. After seeing the pictures and reading the article on the personal account of Brian Steidle, there is no other way to describe the situation in Darfur other than genocide. The Sudanese government is crossing the line as it is pretty much declaring war on the African tribes, and not ever making an attempt to relieve the women and children. It is turning into a total wipe out of all the tribes, and the most disturbing idea is the fact ranking officials within the army are absoltely fine with it. It is considered to be an anhilation of the African Tribes, but the pictures show that even anhilation would be more humane. Men are being castrated while the women are assaulted and raped, and even children are having their faces smashed in. The situation is absolutely horrible and many more steps need to be taken in order to protect what is left of the African Tribes.

  4. I find it very hard to believe that we live in a world in which these typse of atrocities take place on a regular basis. There are so many things to say about this situation, I wouldn’t know where to begin. On the one hand, it is very easy to point the finger at the government of Sudan and ask why they are allowing these things to go on, after all, what are they gaining from the killing? On the other hand, it seems logical to point out how little the UN seems to be doing about the situation. It is very hard to point out that it is being worked on when nothing seems to be getting better, although I am sure that it isn’t completely out of anyone’s mind within the UN. It just surprises me that with all of the publicity that this situation has been getting within recent history, more hasn’t been done to stop the genocide that is occurring. And yes, I believe that it is genocide, if it isn’t, I think that the definition of genocide is simply being used only when convenient for governments who are able to take a stand but may not want to get involved.

  5. Wow is right. How could something like this not be considered genocide? I agree with the other people that have posted that certainly we must clarify the term genocide, because to me, this clearly is genocide and something must be done about it. I’m sure there are many other aspects of this issue that make it complicated for the UN to definitely figure out a solution to and I really hope that this is the case instead of the UN not getting involved out of convenience. Regardless, it’s still hard for me to believe that such horror and violence is continuing to happen. More than anything, words simply cannot describe the feeling that those pictures evoke for me and if nothing else, I will continue to hope for a brighter future for the people of Darfur.

  6. Like the caption says, “In Darfur, my camera was not nearly enough”. The genocide that is taking place is horrific, what is more horrific is that the world community is letting it happen. The US shouldn’t be held solely responsible for what is happening in Darfur; however we need to motivate the rest of the world to help end the suffering of these people. I recently attended a lecture given by the American Refugee Committee. Most people in the audience asked why the UN was not doing anything. First of all the UN cannot send peace keepers where the government does not allow it, and right now the government that is in place is the one that is doing the killings. Second, China has invested interest with the current government of Sudan. They buy oil from them, and provide them with arms. China has either vetoed or watered down any resolution that has been put in front of the Security Council. Therefore, NGO’s are left to fend for themselves in trying to help the refugees and survivors of the genocide. The international community must find a way to stop the genocide, regardless of other invested interests.

  7. Brian Steidle’s account of what is going on in Darfur really left me in shock. I have read of genocides before and the genocide in Congo left me shocked as well but to know that these types of genocides occur in the 21st century is extremely disturbing. What the is being done about this? The way in which Steidle has captured the horror of Darfur in his article really evokes anger in me at the Sudanese government and the Arab militias. The fact that they shutdown the cell phone systems so that neighboring villages cannot warn each other proves that these people have no COMPASSION, and no HEART. They are evil and they don’t deserve to live on the face of this Earth. Here we are in a land that pledges ot democracy and across the Atlantic Ocean men, women and children are being slaughtered for the sake of “nationalism” of one ethnic group. Learning as much as I have about nationalism, I am not sure it is such a good thing. Many people have lost their life because of it. I don’t think this is a responsibility of the United Nations alone to handle but a responsibility of all of humanity to save the people in Darfur. Why are we so concerned with Iraq when this occuring in Darfur?????

  8. I think many of the points presented above are right on. The notion that there is a problem with the definition of genocide is completely accurate and this must be one of the first things to change. I also think Ben makes a terrific point about the investment that is required of a single nation to step in and be effective in Sudan. Unfortunately however, many issues prevent the UN from being an effective. The failures in Sudan harken back to some of the issues with the make up of the UN Security Council as JVogel points out. The limits on the power that the international community can exercise in this situation are unfortunate and very frusturating.

  9. The genocide in Darfur, Sudan is a larger problem than people think it is. What needs to be done is for constituents to contact their representatives so that they know we are concerned about this issue. Obviously, there have been photos of the Sudan government taking part in this genocide, yet they deny these actions. The Sudan government is behind this and there is only so many ways to stop them from continuing. So many genocides have happened in the past: the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia – do we really want to do this again? European states as well as the US have agreed that this is genocide – let’s contact and complain to our leaders in Congress.

  10. The more and more I read about the conflict in Darfur, the angrier I become but yet the more helpless I feel. One line that really struck me was when Steidle spoke of the families having to decide that the rapes of their women were the “lesser evil” when up against the risk of the castration and murder of their men when leaving camp to gather materials. Also, the fact that the Janjaweed militias are both directly and indirectly supported by the Sudanese government truly boils my blood. This is a corrupt and failed state, and the international community must be decisive and immediately act on this issue.

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