‘Never Again’ has come too soon for the people of Darfur

Shayla Durrett

The people of Darfur aren’t worried about high gas prices or the newest celebrity couple. They have real concerns. Like genocide.

Darfur, a region in western Sudan, has become the breeding grounds of the world’s most recent genocide. According to savedarfur.org, 3.5 million Darfurians have been left hungry, 2.5 million have been displaced and 400,000 people have died so far.

Government-owned militia known as the Janjaweed have made it their mission to cleanse Sudan of “non-Arab” or African tribal groups. The Janjaweed ride on horses with weapons and force civilians to flee their homes. Men and boys are usually killed and the women are raped and beaten.

According to BBC News, villages are targeted in air strikes and then the Janjaweed ride through stealing whatever they can find and kidnapping women to use as sex slaves.

They continue their assault on Darfurians after they have been displaced from their homes by attacking them when they collect wood, get water or work in the fields.

Many flee to Chad to escape the Janjaweed but they are left without shelter, food and water.

The United States has responded to the genocide by providing humanitarian aid but the Sudanese government refuses to allow international help for Darfur. They also deny being involved with the Janjaweed.

There is no end to the violence in sight. Peace attempts have failed and the people in Darfur are desperate for help. Current agreements to disarm the Janjaweed and give more money into Darfur have been signed by the government of Sudan but other smaller groups have rejected it, leaving the problem unresolved.

The African Union is compiled of about 7,000 troops to protect a region about the size of France, not nearly enough to serve the area. They are desperate for help and say they don’t have enough money to fund the mission for much longer.

The Janjaweed have become incorporated into the police and army, making it nearly impossible to charge anyone with any crimes.

When the movie “Hotel Rwanda” came out people were horrified to see the atrocities that occurred. An estimated 1 million people were murdered. President Bush vowed “Not on my watch” to the American people when he learned that the genocide in Rwanda had been ignored but yet again not enough is being done.

The U.S. Congress, Human Rights Groups and Colin Powell have all said that genocide is taking place but aid workers have a hard time gaining access to the displaced Darfurians because of the violence.

The president of Sudan has said that Sudan is not safe for the UN. The government has said that they don’t want foreigners interfering in their internal affairs.

If more drastic actions are not taken then the people of Darfur will be forgotten and the genocide will continue to prevail.