Stop Genocide Now – Live from Chad

Gabriel, KTJ, Eric and Ian from Stop Genocide Now have been broadcasting from the refugee camps at the Sudan-Chad border for the last 2 weeks.  Here are some of their videos from I-Act 8.

Preparing to enter the camps

“We got them (permits)…”

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Children of Darfur Refugees Named “Okambo”

Desmond-TutuInteresting story…

According to actress and Darfur advocate Mia Farrow, several Sudanese refugees in Chad have named their children “Okambo”in honor of the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo – the man behind the issuance of an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.

It appears that survivors of the Darfur genocide appreciate Moreno-Ocampo’s efforts just as much as many of us do.

“Trapped in Places of Perpetual Insecurity”

A recent study conducted by US-based Physicians for Human Rights reports that over 50% of Darfuri women at a refugee camp in Chad continue to feel threatened by sexual violence.

Many of these women experienced rape in Darfur, fleeing to Chad to escape suffering. Yet in Chad, their place of refuge, sexual violence is alive and well.

According to the deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights -

The women live in a nightmare of memories of past trauma compounded by the constant threat of sexual violence around the camps now…trapped in places of perpetual insecurity.

Regarding mass rape in Darfur, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir maintains that “there is no document or evidence, just accusations”.

The E6 Envoys

Through their envoys to Sudan, six global powers have called for Chad and Sudan to “exercise restraint”.

The “E6 Envoys” represent the US, UK, Russia, France, EU, and China. The group met Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

According to reports, they “recognized the negative impact on the Darfur political process of the current escalation of tension between Sudan and Chad” and “underlined the need for continued efforts to address humanitarian needs in Darfur and other parts of Sudan”.

 

Darfur Rebel Before ICC; Chad Confirms Sudan Attacks

A Darfur rebel accused of taking part in the “most serious attack against peacekeepers in Darfur” voluntarily made his way to the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week.

The rebel, Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, became the first person from the Darfur conflict to appear before the ICC.

Abu Garda maintained his innocence – stating that he surrendered “out of clear conviction that justice be achieved in Darfur”.

In other news, Chad has confirmed that it indeed sent its army into neighboring Sudan to fight against Chadian rebels positioned there – an act the country believes it has a “right” to do “at any time and in any place”. Chad and Sudan have a history of accusing one another of supporting rebels belonging to each other.

Hope Remains at IDP Camp’s Obama School

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

Camp Djabal - Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

After Barack Obama was elected US president in November, School No. 1 at the Djabal refugee camp in Chad was renamed the Obama School.

NY Times writer and Darfur advocate Nicholas Kristof recently visited Djabal, home to thousands who have fled the genocide in Sudan.

Regarding the Obama School, Kristof writes -

It’s a pathetic building of mud bricks with a tin roof, and the windows are holes in the wall, but it’s caulked with hope that Obama may help end the long slaughter and instability in Sudan.

Is there reason for the residents of Djabal to be hopeful?

Kristof thinks so.

This Wednesday, the International Criminal Court will release its decision on issuing an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. There is talk that top Sudanese officials may oust Bashir if a warrant is issued.

Additionally, several current US leaders back the Darfur cause, including President Barack Obama, VP Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and UN Ambassador Susan Rice. The Obama administration plans to conduct a review of the policy on Darfur led by human rights defender Samantha Power.

I agree with Kristof. Hope is not lost. Not for those living in Djabal. Not for the refugees in other Darfur IDP camps. And not for the millions around the world who refuse to turn a blind eye to the extermination of a people.

Kristof and Clooney Together in Chad

NY Times writer Nicholas Kristof has traveled to a small Chadian town bordering Darfur, home to thousands who have been forced from their homes after fleeing genocide.

Kristof’s partner on his journey is George Clooney, famous actor and avid Darfur supporter.

What Kristof and Clooney found in the town of Dogdore is disheartening – desperation, fear, and an unanswered need for humanitarian aid. All this, after six years.

A shocking sidenote – Kristof reveals that the UN has pulled Clooney’s security escort – effective immediately.

Also check out Kristof’s blog - On the Ground.

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