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August 17, 2004

Passion of the Present

People who know me know that my interest in Africa runs deep. From the time that I lived in Zimbabwe as a little boy until now, I've dreamed of being an expat living far away in Africa. One of the things that makes my dream harder to achieve is the constant turmoil that plagues the continent, leveling the most beautiful nations under murderous tyrants, genocidal rabble, disease, and hunger. What you might not know is just how sick it makes me to watch, helpless, from a distance as Africa burns.

Right now, while we wait for Zimbabwe's inevitable collapse, we turn our eyes to Sudan. The UN may not want to acknowledge the genocide and may not want to commit to anything other than harsh words for the Sudanese government, but the rest of us might be able to help.

We can't stop the killing, but we can encourage our representatives to commit to action. We can see the terror for what it is and face it with our eyes wide open. We can donate in hopes of easing the burden of those who are suffering.

August 25th will be a "Day of Conscience" for; a day devoted to raising awareness of the crisis in Sudan.

With the rainy season starting in late May and the ensuing logistical difficulties exacerbated by Darfur’s poor roads and infrastructure, any international monitoring of the shaky April ceasefire and continuing human rights abuses, as well as access to humanitarian assistance, will become more difficult. The United States Agency for International Development has warned that unless the Sudanese government breaks with past practice and grants full and immediate humanitarian access, at least 100,000 war-affected civilians could die in Darfur from lack of food and from disease within the next twelve months.

I've always hated the people who run around shouting "we have to do something" when they have no idea what actually needs to be done. This time, though, there is a clear path: helping those displaced by war by helping to provide food, water, and medical supplies.

Read more about the situation in Darfur.

(Thanks to those at Passion of the Present.)
(Cross posted to ResurrectionSong.)

Posted by zombyboy at August 17, 2004 02:44 PM

I don't see any difference between Bush's neglect of Sudan and Clinton's neglect of Rwanda, other than the fact the genocide is happening a little slower in Sudan. More repugnant is the fact that the Sudan situation isn't merely tribal, it's racist.

This will be the black eye of the Bush presidency. If this doesn't fall under the purview of the War on Terror, I'm not sure what does.

Posted by: Velociman at August 17, 2004 08:32 PM

You won't find me disagreeing.

Posted by: zombyboy at August 18, 2004 10:52 AM
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