Darfur refugees speak out

Mia Farrow is with refugees from Darfur all throughout the Beijing Olympics. Yesterday, she met with leaders of the camp who presented her with a document voicing their needs.

1. We agree with the decision of the International Criminal Court.

2. The refugees have no link to the International community. But they must listen to our voices, not the voice of Omar Al-Bashir.

3. Arrest all the guilty people immediately.
a. We are connected to the IDP community in Darfur. They do not have the freedom to speak.
b. We do not like African forces.We do not like the AU.

4. Disarm the Janjaweed and the military.

5. Those who occupied our land and homes must leave. Our homes must be returned to us, and our belongings.

6. We refuse to accept Government of Sudan in any humanitarian agency.

7. Stop infiltration of camps. People are entering, representing themselves as Chadians but they are Sudanese spies.

8. We need secondary schools. Our children are only given schooling up to 8th grade. If they are uneducated this means there will be more war in the future. (Education is the way for people to find things in common other than their ethnicity.)

9. We are requesting (demanding) other return of our belongings which have been taken from us. Compensation

10. They must arrest Omar Al-Bashir as quickly as possible or he will kill more. Just now we have heard many people are being killed.

Read the entire post on Mia’s blog.

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Watch updates from Mia at the Darfur Olympics.

Mia Farrow live from Darfur

As the summer games open in Beijing, Mia Farrow, in an effort to draw attention to the plight of Darfur refugees will be broadcasting the Darfur Olympics.

“The Olympic Games should be cause for celebration … the decision to hold the games in Beijing is beyond comprehension,” she said. “With China underwriting the suffering in Darfur and hosting the Olympic games at home, there is an incongruity that everyone attending the game, participating in the games and covering the games can’t ignore.”

Read the full story.

Watch the Dafur Olympics.

US athletes show backbone on Darfur

Just read a very interesting post by Randy Harvey over at the LA Times. US Olympic athletes chose Sudanese lost boy, Lopez Lomang as the American flag bearer at the Beijing Olympics.

Lomong, 23, was 6 when he was abducted from a Sudanese church by militiamen trying to turn children into boy soldiers. He and three other boys escaped and walked several days until they were arrested by Kenyan police because they had unknowingly crossed the border into Kenya… Lomong, made the Olympic track team by finishing third in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. track trials, spent a decade in a refugee camp in Kenya as one of the “Lost Boys of the Sudan.” He resettled in the United States as a teenager with a family in Syracuse, N.Y.

On the other side, Olympic speed skating champion Joey Cheek had his visa revoked by the Chinese government preventing him from attending the Beijing Games.

Mr. Cheek, a 29-year-old gold-medal-winning speed skater in 2006, wasn’t going to compete in Beijing but had planned to attend in order to draw attention to genocide in Darfur, which critics say Beijing abets through its ties to the Sudan government. His organization, Team Darfur, urges athletes to support peace in Darfur.

Both athletes are members of Team Darfur. (Now why wasn’t I aware of this group before?)

I’m so proud of these guys :)

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UPDATE: Here is Joey’s interview with Riz Khan (of Al Jazeera)