TFK Article on Darfur
Looking Evil in the Face
President Bush calls for an end to violence in Sudan
For the past four years, the Darfur region of Sudan, in Africa, has been ripped apart by violence. More than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes. Each month, thousands of refugees die as a result of disease, malnutrition and lack of clean water. On Wednesday, President George W. Bush, said the bloodshed must stop. “The brutal treatment of innocent civilians in Darfur is unacceptable,” said Bush. “(It) must end.”
ALFRED DE MONTESQUIOU—AP
The President said that the United States would take concrete measures to force the government of Sudan to abide by peace agreements. If Sudan’s government fails to act properly, the U.S. will impose strict economic penalties on Sudan. American companies will be barred from doing business with Sudan. Individuals committing violent acts in Sudan will not be allowed to do business with American citizens or companies.
The world must actBush spoke at a ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum is devoted to preserving the memory of the estimated 6 million Jewish people who were killed by members of Germany’s Nazi Party during World War II. This week marks Holocaust Remembrance Week. Bush said that the museum serves as a reminder to the world that it must not allow evil acts to be committed. “The only way to defeat (evil) is to look it in the face, and not back down,” he said.
The President compared the Nazis’ plan to exterminate the Jewish people with the crisis in Darfur. “Genocide is the only word for what is happening in Darfur, and we have a moral obligation to stop it,” Bush said.
Google, an Internet search company, has joined ranks with the Holocaust Museum to let the world see what is going on in Darfur. By using Google Earth, people can view the destruction in Darfur. They can see burnt-out homes, makeshift tent villages and people struggling to survive.
Broken promisesThe problems in Darfur began with an uprising of black Africans against what they viewed as discrimination by the predominantly Arab government. Both groups are Muslim. In response, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, called on local tribes to put down the rebellion. Armed Arab bandits, called Janjaweed, began attacking black African farmers.
The United States and the United Nations (U.N.) have brokered several agreements between the Sudanese government and rebel groups. The Sudanese government has promised to disarm the Janjaweed. This week, the government agreed to accept 3,000 U.N. troops, who will work with African Union forces to try to bring security and peace to the region.
But the Sudanese government has a history of breaking its agreements. “The time for promises is over,” vowed Bush. “President Bashir must act.”