2006-03-29

Darfur: Stop the Genocide

AJWS:
Rally for Darfur - Washington, D.C. - April 30, 2006

Thank you for your continued activism on behalf of the people of Darfur. As the April 30 Rally for Darfur approaches, we wanted to send you a message to inform and inspire you in your work for the innocent victims of the genocide. Our efforts to bring this genocide to our leaders’ attention must continue.

Facts

In addition to the 400,000 who have already died as a result of the genocide in Darfur:

More than 300,000 people along the western border of Sudan and in the central mountains have been cut off from aid because of the prevailing insecurity in the region. Humanitarian vehicles are routinely attacked and looted.
Janjaweed, the Sudanese government-backed militia, are now spreading their campaign to neighboring Chad – killing, raping and burning villages while shouting their signature racial epithet: "black slaves."
Truth

The Janjaweed will rape and kill my family. And there's nothing I can do.
-Idris Ismael, a 32-year-old Chadian whose village was attacked by Janjaweed. While he managed to run away, his wife, who was eight months pregnant, and his four children did not. (New York Times, 3.20.2006)

There has never been a cost-free, risk-free way to stop genocide.
-Gayle Smith, former U.S. representative to Rwanda (Bloomberg News, 3.22.2006)

Wisdom

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
-Elie Wiesel

Sign the Million Voices for Darfur Postcard.

iAbolish (hat tip: Yael)
Petition the U.S. Government: Create a Task Force to Eradicate Slavery in Sudan

Slave abuse in Sudan

Preliminary analysis of interview conducted by CSI field researcher with recently liberated slaves reveal the following statistical pattern of slave abuse:
Based on interviews with 1,306 freed male and female slaves over the age of eleven:
Forced labor 95.5%
Frequent beatings 95.7%
Racial insults 95.8%
Forced conversion to Islam 59.6%
Based on interviews with 1,025 female slaves over the age of eleven:
Rape 69.7%
Gang rape 59.4%
Genital mutilation 33.5%
Based on interviews with 281 boy slaves over the age of eleven:
Rape 6.0%

Since the mid-1980s, Sudan has experienced a surge in cases of slavery. The Sudanese government has supported militias (janjaweed) who raid black African villages, murdering men and taking women and children as slaves.

Despite tremendous effort by the U.S. government to bring about peace in Sudan, UN agencies are reporting that the government-sponsored militias are continuing to abduct women and children in western Darfur — an area not covered by the peace talks.

We need to send a message to U.S. leaders demanding the creation of a special Task Force to investigate and report on slavery in Sudan. We aim to collect 3,000 signatures by March 31 in support of this initiative — can you help us get there?

Sign the petition at the link.

It only takes a second to ask the US government to do the right thing. Add your voice now.