Genocide Commemorators Seek Medical Treatment

During Rwanda’s Genocide Commemoration Week last month, more than 400 people were admitted to hospitals or trauma handling centers.

Vigils and ceremonies brought survivors of the genocide back to 1994 – back to the horror and the unimaginable and inexcusable slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus. Wounds were reopened and memories came flooding in.

One individual attending a vigil broke down in tears and begged not to be cut.

Although painful, commemoration of the genocide is important. The unfortunate revitalization of trauma does not mean that the atrocities of 1994 should be forgotten. Rather, it means that the obstacles facing these individuals as they fight for stability and reconciliation, 15 years later, should not be forgotten.

Another note – those traumatized in Rwanda continue to outnumber available facilities and counselors equipped to provide the necessary support.

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Save Darfur: A Photo Essay

To commemorate Genocide Prevention Month, Save Darfur held its Honor the Past, Act Now for Darfur event across the street from the White House.

Genocide survivors and anti-genocide advocates gathered together for the ceremony – check out a slideshow of the remarkable event – unbelievable pictures.

I was especially moved by the images of rally participants holding posters showing the names of Darfur villages decimated by Sudan’s means of annihilation and extermination. Very simple act but extremely powerful.

Local Library Honors Genocide Prevention Month

The public library in Brea has embraced Genocide Prevention Month.

We encouraged them to display, front and center during April, books about various genocides which have unfortunately taken place throughout history.

They listened.

When you walk through the library’s doors, you are met by a poster commemorating Genocide Prevention Month and suggesting books you can check out and read in order to learn more about the far too many people who have been victims of unthinkable genocides.

A big thank you to the Brea Public Library.

We also contacted the libraries in Fullerton and Yorba Linda. However, they selected Easter and Earth Day displays instead.

Also, in other news –

Senator John Kerry has arrived in Sudan – “hopeful” that progress can be made regarding several issues.

Oxfam officially appealed its expulsion from Sudan.

April is Genocide Prevention Month

Earlier this month, Bridgette Hanning from our group issued a press release to announce the various activities that we’re organizing as part of Genocide Prevention Month.   The Daily Pilot picked it up.

Here is the complete text of the press release.

:) Anshul

Take action on genocide around the world

By Bridgette
Citizen Correspondent

daily_pilotNot many people know that five genocides, resulting in more than 15 million deaths, have anniversaries in April: Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia, the Holocaust, and Armenia.  Sadly, April also marks the anniversary of the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, now in its seventh year.   Thus far, in Darfur, over 400,000 innocent civilians have been killed and more than three million people have been displaced. Since the Sudanese government expelled 16 humanitarian aid agencies nearly a month ago, millions of people (mostly women and children) are at immediate risk for starvation, violence, disease, and death.

As part of a nationwide campaign to promote awareness about the genocide in Darfur and to provide opportunities for Orange County residents to take action, several collaborative events are scheduled throughout the month of April.

For more information about these or any upcoming events, please contact (949) 235-6200 or email: info@ocfordarfur.org:

April 4 (Sat.) – 7:00 am – Noon: Rummage Sale sponsored by STAND and Woodbridge high school student, Maia Boitano. Woodbridge High School, 2 Meadowbrook, Irvine, CA 92604. All proceeds will be donated to STAND, Doctors Without Borders, and Steps of Hope Orphanage.

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Preventing Genocide One Day at a Time

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

April is Genocide Prevention Month. How can you get involved?

It’s easy! Check out 30 things to do this month to make a difference.

Ask local libraries to display books about genocide…wear a green wristband to show support for Darfur…donate your Facebook status to Genocide Prevention Month…watch a film…the list goes on.

30 days, 30 ways…to speak out against genocide.

Mass Atrocity Crimes Watch List

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

Genocide Prevention Project, sponsor of April 2009 Genocide Prevention Month, published a Mass Atrocity Crimes Watch List for 2008 – 2009.

The list identifies countries of high concern based on factors such as exclusionary ideology, discrimination, and presence of refugees and internally displaced persons.

The number of countries included on the list?

5? 10? 15?

How about 33!

The crimes occurring in some countries on the list have escalated to genocide (Sudan for example). One can only hope that a similar fate does not await the others.