Sometimes I feel guilty for going on with my daily life when a genocide rages in the middle of Africa. I think what it must have been like for people in New York in 1915 when my ancestors were being killed, raped, beaten or forced into exile during the Armenian Genocide in a corner of Western consciousness as remote then as Sudan is today.
I don’t know what the solution is and I can’t admit to knowing all the details of the human rights catastrophe that is Darfur but I know that I am not doing enough.
I learned today that February 26, 2003 is to the Darfur genocide, what April 24, 1915 is to the Armenian genocide. It is reassuring to know that the UN chief says Darfur is a top priority, though considering this is the same man that allowed a Rwandan genocide exhibition to be censured of a quote that mentioned the Armenian Genocide (at the request of Turkish officials), I’m not holding my breath. Today, BBC reports that”Sudan ‘resumes bombing in Darfur’“–awful.
When I came across these images (one is pictured above) today by journalist Levon Sevunts from his time in Sudan in 2004 I wanted to share them since they offer a glimpse into a tragedy that continues (complete set of photographs)…
Here are some truths (courtesy the Washington Post) about Darfur that you may not know:
- Nearly everyone involved is Muslim
- Everyone is black
- It’s all about politics
- This conflict is international
- The “genocide” label made it worse
For those that want to learn more, these are useful:
- Save Darfur website
- Wikipedia’s history of the Darfur conflict
- Genocide Intervention Network
- Darfur: A Genocide We Can Stop
- Other riveting images of the Darfur crisis here at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum website
- BBC’s easy to follow facts about the conflict