That this is happening (and allowed to happen) in this day and age is shameful. Of course, if Darfur had untapped oil reserves, BushCo and Republicans in Congress would be DEMANDING that we invade to liberate Darfur. Since there is no oil, the silence emanating from Washington is deafening.
GENEINA, Sudan, June 29 -- At first light on Sunday, three young women walked into a scrubby field just outside their refugee camp in West Darfur. They had gone out to collect straw for their family's donkeys. They recalled thinking that the Arab militiamen who were attacking African tribes at night would still be asleep. But six men grabbed them, yelling Arabic slurs such as "zurga" and "abid," meaning "black" and "slave." Then the men raped them, beat them and left them on the ground, they said.
They grabbed my donkey and my straw and said, 'Black girl, you are too dark. You are like a dog. We want to make a light baby,' " said Sawela Suliman, 22, showing slashes from a where a whip struck her thighs as her father held up a police and health report with details of the attack. "They said, 'You get out of this area and leave the child when it's made.' "....
Interviews with two dozen women at camps, schools and health centers in two provincial capitals in Darfur yielded consistent reports that the Janjaweed were carrying out waves of attacks targeting African women. The victims and others said the rapes seemed to be a systematic campaign to humiliate the women, their husbands and fathers, and to weaken tribal ethnic lines. In Sudan, as in many Arab cultures, a child's ethnicity is attached to the ethnicity of the father.
"The pattern is so clear because they are doing it in such a massive way and always saying the same thing," said an international aid worker who is involved in health care. She and other international aid officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they feared reprisals or delays of permits that might hamper their operations.
She showed a list of victims from Rokero, a town outside of Jebel Marra in central Darfur where 400 women said they were raped by the Janjaweed. "It's systematic," the aid worker said. "Everyone knows how the father carries the lineage in the culture. They want more Arab babies to take the land. The scary thing is that I don't think we realize the extent of how widespread this is yet."
If aid agencies have been able to establish that the rape and abuse of women is a standard tactic of the government-backed Janjaweed, then why has there been no hue and cry coming from the West? As a matter of simple human dignity and respect for humanity, the West's ignorance of the tragedy in Darfur is stunning. If the women being raped were European or Kuwaiti instead of being black Africans, would more attention be devoted to their plight? It's a legitimate question, particularly given the lack of action against Sudan by Western democracies.
Have we learned NOTHING from Rwanda??