Amnesty International is asking web surfers to get involved in monitoring genocide in Darfur by checking images of villages taken by satellite cameras. Google Earth has already been cited as providing evidence of gun running to Sudan, where the government is accused of supporting Janjaweed militias in their attacks on towns and …
Tell China to quit supporting Sudan. As long as they are enabling the regime, there's no chance for any kind of settlement.
"The group has an online petition to sign and is also asking the public to either email Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, or print out a letter or fax."
I am reminded of all the petitions that were sent off to the Taliban in early 2001, protesting their destruction of some Buddhist statues, at their treatment of women and religious minorities etc. The petitions started out as well-meaning efforts to change the Taliban's ways, but they quickly became email pests. Lots of people signed, because it felt good, but they had no effect whatsoever. I imagine that the villagers of the Sudan who live in fear of violence and torture are thrilled at the thought of concerned web surfers impotently watching them die. When they are all dead we will think of something else to worry about.
Is it just me? It seems that google earth can be used to put pressure on 3rd world governments but must hide the embarrasement at the state of devestation still in New Orleans for the American government.
I've noticed that the world (western bit anyway) seems to have forgotten that there is a 2-way dynamic in Sudan. There is this assumption that the "bad" Islamic Sudanese government is hell-bent on usurping the rights of the poor non-Muslim villagers in southern Sudan.
Over the years, the conflict there has been couched in religious terms but it started off with tribal land rights issues. It became a religious issue with outside help. The south is largely animist in religion with about 16% each for Muslim and Christian. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robinson of US evangelical fame "invested" huge amounts of money in this area supporting the separatist John Garang (an anamist who converted with his gang after being given huge "donations"). Now any country is going to be ticked off when a section wants to separate from the rest and it reacted.
The militias would have seen a well financed, western backed opponent looking to grab their lands. They have probably acted badly but I doubt they are worse than the now dead Garang and gang.
The real dirt here - the south has *OIL*. Funny how the US is somehow involved in conflict where oil is concerned, even through trusted intermediaries like Falwell. I think herein the west, we are "supposed" to think of the Sudanese govt and citizens as uncivilised, to be corrected by our largesse and more civilised behaviour.
This whole thing ticks me off.
A few current facts
Firstly Darfur is not in the south but in the WEST of Sudan.
Secondly it is not the '...poor non Muslim....' being ethnically cleansed but MUSLIMS, who in the eyes of the Arabs that dominate Sudan, have the wrong color skin.
Darfurians are almost 100% Muslim.
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