Sudan, just another case of Genocide

By Gia Mayorga

The most horrific images to ever fall before my fourteen-year-old eyes were from Rwanda’s civil war in the early 90’s. The sight of hundreds of Tutsis dead, and floating in a river, their bodies already possessed with rigor mortis, ran through my head frequently for more than a week after viewing the terrifying footage.

I saw other stuff from Rwanda, Hutus brutally massacring children, women, and men with machetes – it all depresses me even to this day. The Hutus were systematically killing the Tutsi people, in order to try to rid Rwanda of the once ruling aristocracy.

I learned how, in fear of another Somalia, our country did nothing to help. President Clinton’s cabinet addressed the situation as if it was minor rivalry of two African tribes, never calling it what it was, denying it at conferences, admitting that it was Genocide meant that they’d have to do something about it.

Maybe that’s why Clinton waited until the conflict was resolved to call it Genocide. He apologized for not acting, and he went on a visit to Rwanda with Hilary, but all the president did was make an apology speech, he never even left the airport. We vowed to never allow Genocide to happen again.

Voila: Sudan. Genocide is taking place even as I type, another instance of ethnic cleansing, once again the world is just standing by, and doing little to nothing to act. Of course the UN is doing something, just like they did with Rwanda, but nothing that has actually stopped the killings.

The conflict all started when a rebel group started attacking “government targets” because they felt that their impoverished region was being neglected by Khartoum, the rebels accused the Sudanese government of unfairly favoring the Arabs, and of oppressing the black Africans.

The two rebel groups that are addressing this problem and having an uprising are the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

A huge problem in Sudan is the Janjaweed. Though the Sudanese government has admitted to using militias for self-defense after attacks from the rebels, it denies being linked to the Janjaweed, which is a brutal group set on cleansing Sudan of black Africans. Citizens of Darfur say that the Janjaweed stroll into town after air raids, on camels, and horses. Members of the Janjaweed are un-merciful they steal, they brutally kill men, they rape, and kidnap women and hold them as sex slaves.

The Janjaweed have destroyed many homes, causing many people to leave their villages for refugee camps in Darfur, but at these camps they are running out of medicine, food, and water. When people go in search of food, and other necessities they are raped, and killed by the Janjaweed who stay near patrolling the area around the camps. Many children have died from malnutrition, and thousands of Sudanese people are starving to death at these camps. Sudanese government officials stated that they have no power over the Janjaweed. After pressure from other countries, the Sudanese government swore to overthrow the Janjaweed, and put an end to the chaos caused by them, but they have yet to complete the task.

My resources tell me that the UN has threatened to impose sanctions on the Sudanese oil sector, until they reduce the violence, and mayhem-taking place. But of course something prevented this from happening.

China along with Russia, and a few other countries have made it perfectly clear that they stand firmly against those plans and, opposed of the idea of helping quit the fighting. They think that Sudan should figure out how to resolve their own problems. Maybe this is because both China and Russia are selling weapons to Sudan.

Recently the Sudan and the rebel groups signed a contract agreeing to sign a peace treaty by the end of the year, at an emergency UN meeting, (it was so urgent that it was held outside of the UN’s headquarters in New York, something that has not been done in fourteen years). But this isn’t the first ceasefire that the rebels and the Sudanese government have signed, who knows whether or not this treaty one will have any impact in Darfur where the killing is taking place.

The conflict in Sudan is a horrific example of Genocide, that I don’t see ending soon. I would say that the United Nations should go in on a Peace Keeping mission, but when they did that in Rwanda, and 30 of their soldiers ended up lending the Hutus their weapons, and they ended getting shot by those Hutus. I don’t think that Sudan needs the UN’s soldiers, I think they need help from America. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has already referred to what’s happening in Sudan as Genocide, and after all admitting there is a problem is the first step. Last time this happened President Clinton did nothing, and we ended up doing nothing to stop one of the worst instances of Genocide ever; now one equally brutal is taking place, and we aren’t acting, when we should be.

I guess it’s just another case of Genocide.

Posted: Wed - December 1, 2004 at 03:43 PM