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Darfur: Is This Another Case Where the World Sits Idly By?

I remain worried and saddened that we seem impotent to address the continuing genocidal violence that alights the Sudan and now neighboring Chad and other countries. Peace accords are signed; violations begin immediately. The website OurPledge.org, Americans Against the Darfur Genocide, headlines with: Darfur Humanitarian Situation Bleakest Ever; Khartoum Continues to Reject Deployment of Multinational Peacekeepers: The violence in Darfur is accelerating, and over 4 million civilians, two-thirds of Darfur’s entire population, now need emergency assistance in order to survive. In his Nov. 22 report to the UN Security Council, the UN’s aid chief Jan Egeland gave his most negative assessment yet of the genocidal destruction being committed throughout the region: “Villages, camps, and communities outside the urban centers of Darfur are again being burnt and looted. Women and children are abused, raped, and killed with impunity. Just ten days ago the village of Sirba saw three attacks by government forces and Arab militia that resulted in innocent civilians, mainly women and children, killed and injured. I met some of the victims in the hospital of El Geneina. A mother told me how she held her two-year-old daughter in her arms as the child was willfully shot in the neck by an armed man, despite her repeated begging to spare her daughter. The wounded child did, as I could see, miraculously survive and now recovers in the good care of the Sudanese local doctors. Neither the Government [of Sudan] nor the African Union was able or willing to show presence or deploy proactively in Sirba before the massacre, despite repeated warnings by villagers and aid workers of the impending attacks.” Meanwhile, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has repeated his opposition to a joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force for Darfur, a “hybrid” arrangement supported by the United Nations as well as the Bush administration. According to Bashir, “Any talk that we [the Sudanese government] accepted joint forces is a lie.” This genocide is a problem we CAN solve! Why aren’t we? We Jews, who have experienced this and worse, should be particularly concerned and vocal. That’s why we are and must remain involved with Jewish World Watch.

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