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Khartoum 'worsening Darfur crisis'

IP: * 12.08.04, 02:35
Khartoum 'worsening Darfur crisis'
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 Posted: 12:46 PM EDT (1646 GMT)

Aid agencies estimate about 2 million people are in urgent need of food and
medical aid.

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    • Gość: Salah Re: Khartoum 'worsening Darfur crisis' IP: 5.3.1R* / * 16.09.04, 14:12
      When I saw the lights in my rearview mirror, I knew we were screwed. On the
      radio, a commercial blared, "There's more than corn in Indiana."

      And it wasn't lying. Indiana also had the Ku Klux Klan, and on our way to
      Indianapolis, my brother and I were taking the scenic route through
      Martinsville - KKK country.

      "Where ya'll goin'?" the thick-accented, pork-bellied cop asked us, pointing a
      flashlight at my face. Fields of corn rustled around us. "Indianapolis," I

      "Okey-doke,? he said in his corn-fed drawl, ?And where y'all from?"

      I figured we were screwed anyway: "Sudan."

      "Sudan?" he asked, scratching his head in bewilderment. "Now, ain't that over
      by Muncie?"

      I seized what I saw as my only chance: "Yup."

      "Well, s***!" The cop's eyes lit up. "Why didn't you say so in the first place?
      How's their basketball team doin' these days?"

      Officer Billy Bob wasn't alone. Almost anytime I'd tell anyone I was from the
      Sudan on my father's side, the reaction would be similar: a confused look,
      followed by a stupid one after I'd revealed Sudan was only the largest country
      in Africa.

      Americans would usually have less trouble with my mom?s side, especially in
      Indiana, where I spent part of my childhood: "Poland. Ain?t that o?er there by
      McCormicks Creek State Park?"

      Today, Sudan is all over the news, and with good reason. Thousands have been
      killed in the west of the country, where the Sudanese government is said to be
      complicit in the violence waged by the so-called "Janjaweed" against so-called
      Black Africans.

      But who are the Janjaweed?

      "The rebels spread the word Janjaweed as if it were an organization," Musa
      Hilal, an alleged Janjaweed leader, told UK's Guardian newspaper recently. "As
      a political group, there is no specific concept called Janjaweed . . . It means
      nothing, but has been used to mean everything."

      What's happening in Sudan is as horrible as it sounds. The photos taken by the
      BBC, The New York Times and other news organizations don't lie. But the
      violence isn't between Africans and Arabs, as many reports suggest, but between
      Africans and Africans.

      Sudan is a Black country, and the references to "Arabs" and "Africans" by
      Darfur refugees are both new ? and imported. Some Sudanese identify more
      closely with Arab culture than others, but that isn't to say there is a Black-
      white component to the violence, as many news reports strongly suggest.

      The sudden interest in Sudan, where a separate, decades-old civil war in the
      south has claimed more than 2 million lives without the world lifting a finger,
      is religion ? particularly the effort by foreign-based Christian organizations
      to do what they like to do best around the world: proselytize.

      Groups like these have been converting Sudanese to Christianity for years, both
      from Islam and various animist traditions. These groups have an advantage in
      reducing Sudan, truly a melting pot, to "Arabs" and "Africans" because,
      understandably, it makes their jobs a lot easier.

      Their efforts may explain why Darfur refugees and rebel soldiers have taken to
      using the same terms when the press come calling, while in the meantime, the
      issue of why the violence is happening gets clouded.

      The western part of Sudan is occupied by various tribes, almost all of them
      Muslim. Desertification has made already scarce natural resources even scarcer.
      That recently prompted rebel groups in the region to take up arms against the
      government, to get it to pay more attention to Darfur.

      If news reports are correct, the government responded predictably ? with force,
      only it used local people to do it. It wasn?t anything new; the government has
      pitted one group against another for years, wherever it needed to squelch
      popular dissent.

      "The labels Arab and African are rather misleading, given the complexity of the
      region's ethnic history," Brendan I. Koerner wrote recently in Slate Magazine,
      in a rare, but telling, instance of journalistic integrity.

      In Sudan, people are dying in violence caused as much by poverty as by
      politics. Growing up, I lived in the north of the country, in Omdurman, often
      described as a suburb of Khartoum, the capital. We were supposed to be the so-
      called economic middle-class, yet even our house was made of a combination of
      mud, straw and cow dung.

      The unmistaken thing, however, is that the people I grew up around ? on the
      streets, in the market place, at weddings ? were all Black. We spoke different
      languages, prayed different prayers and practiced different traditions. Being
      half-white, I stuck out like a light bulb, but we were all, simply, Sudanese.
      That is why the conflict in Darfur isn't about race.

      For the Sudanese government, the conflict is about money and power; for foreign
      Christian organizations, it is about winning the hearts and minds of more and
      more converts.

      In the meantime, however, the poverty afflicting all of Africa has hit Sudan
      upside the head. And while the international community gets whipped up about a
      conflict that has been boiled down to easy, inaccurate terms, the Black people
      of Sudan, Africa's largest country ? far away from Muncie, Indiana ? continue
      to die.

    • Gość: Amerykanin Kofi Annan to Kerry ONZ-u. Krytykuje USA za akcje IP: * 16.09.04, 14:24
      w Iraku, ze weszli. Teraz krytykuje USA ze nie chca wejsc do Sudanu.
      Tragikomedia wspolczesnych moralistow politycznych polega na tym, ze
      przyczepili sie do USA jako jedynej sily, ktora powinna cos robic. Falszywie
      udaja jednoczesnie, ze USA nie powinna dzialac sama (a moze). Nie krytykuja
      innych panstw za niedzialanie - Francja, Niemcy, Rosja, Chiny itd. ale za to
      maja zawsze niezachwiana pewnosc, ze wolno im udzielac pouczen Ameryce. Biedni,
      despotyczni starcy z dyktatorskich panstewek wyciagajacych rece po dolary to
      glowny komponent ONZ. Wyniesc to gniazdo antyamerykanizmu z USA do Genewy.
      Niech tam blokuja parkingi bez placenia kar miastu.

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