Save Darfur, let it be a call to your conscience

I was asked numeroustimes throughout the day, “What/Who is Darfur?”

>Genocide: This is a word that brings with it a lot of emotions, history, uncertainty and thoughts of Rwanda, Bosnia, the Holocaust. This is an idea of the past, something we have learned from and would never let happen again, right? Wrong.

The first genocide of this century is happening today. I was surprised that the Daily left out Darfur in their piece on “The Miracle of the Sur vival” about genocides. So, I will attempt to bring awareness to this.

The other day I wore a shirt that states, “Save Darfur.” I was asked many times throughout the day, “What/Who is Darfur?” This made me aware of the magnitude of people who are still unaware of “what” Darfur is.”

Darfur is a region of Sudan in Africa with a starting population of 6 million. Of this population, more than 400,000 have been killed and millions have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighboring regions of Sudan and Chad. The United Nations estimates that 10,000-15,000 Sudanese are dying each month at a rate of 500 each day this genocide continues. Further, there are rapes, murders and abductions happening daily. Starvation is a real threat because the militia steals the regions’ cattle and destroys water wells and crops.

With the growing amount of international pressure for something to be done, the Darfur Peace Agreement was signed in May 2006. This, however, has done little if anything to stop the genocide. The violence has continued to escalate and it is too dangerous for displaced civilians to return to their homes. There is a general consensus that international action needs to be taken, especially by the United Nations.

Peace officers need to be sent in to make sure this peace agreement is carried through. With the knowledge we gained from the atrocity that was the Rwanda genocide, we must all take action to end this now. As the Save Darfur Web site declares, let it be “a call to your conscience.” Now that you are aware of what is happening, can you just stand by and let it happen? I encourage all of you to become educated and to personally take action – contact your legislature and President Bush; inform your friends, family and neighbors about Darfur. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Sarah Marsden is a University graduate student. Please send comments to [email protected]