Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Genocide in the Sudan

Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times puts a human face on the ongoing genocide in the Sudan:
"On March 12, Ms. Khattar was performing her predawn Muslim prayers about 4 a.m. when a Sudanese government Antonov aircraft started dropping bombs on Ab-Layha, which is made up of Zaghawa tribespeople. Moments later, more than 1,000 Janjaweed attackers rode into the village on horses and camels, backed by Sudanese government troops in trucks.

"The Janjaweed shouted: `We will not allow blacks here. We will not let Zaghawa here. This land is only for Arabs,' " Ms. Khattar recalled."
The Janjaweed are an Arab militia in the employ of the Sudanese government. Ms. Khattar is also a Muslim, but is black.
"By most accounts, about 100 people were massacred that day in Ab-Layha, and a particular effort was made to exterminate all men and boys, even the very young. Women and girls were sometimes allowed to flee, but the prettiest were kidnapped.

Most of those raped don't want to talk about it. But Zahra Abdel Karim, a 30-year-old woman, told me how in the same attack on Ab-Layha, the Janjaweed shot to death her husband, Adam, and 7-year-old son, Rahshid, as well as three of her brothers. Then they grabbed her 4-year-old son, Rasheed, from her arms and cut his throat.

The Janjaweed took her and her two sisters away on horses and gang-raped them, she said. The troops shot one sister, Kuttuma, and cut the throat of the other, Fatima, and they discussed how to mutilate her. (Sexual humiliation has been part of the Sudanese strategy to drive out the African tribespeople. The Janjaweed routinely add to the stigma by branding or scarring the women they rape.)"
Recently declassified papers indicate that the Clinton administration had knowledge of the genocide going on in Rwanda in 1994, but buried the information because it had already decided not to intervene. As discussed earlier, the UN will not take action since the perpetrators sit on the UN Human Rights Commission. President Bush should not follow these shameful examples. Since 1990, the U.S. has saved or liberated millions of Muslims in Kuwait Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Bush administration should make it clear to the thugs running the Sudan that these atrocities must stop immediately or they will meet the same fate as the Taliban and the Baathists.