Information : The Killing Fields of AfricaArticles, Poems & Information > The Killing Fields of Africa
Author: Denise Tansley (2007)
Warning: The text contains graphic details of what is happening in Darfur, and we advise that any child under the age of 16 years does not read this page!
The New Killing Fields - A BBC Panorama Television Programme by Hillary Anderson
We were compelled to watch a programme by Panorama - The New Killing Fields. The programme, reported by Hillary Anderson went right to the heart of Darfur and the appalling atrocities and suffering that is taking place there. Hillary asks the question – Is Genocide happening in Darfur?
The people of Darfur are in desperate need of our help. Hillary Anderson reports that ethnic cleansing seems to be going on in Darfur with the government’s approval.
Thousands of women and children are being systematically raped in Darfur while their husbands, brother and sons are murdered in cold blood. There seems to be ethnic cleansing going on in Darfur and the people responsible are Arab Militia who the local people call ‘Janjaweed’ - meaning the evil ones who prey on the innocent. The women of the villages tell Hillary that it is the same pattern, time and time again. The government planes bomb African villages and then send their men in on camels, horses and trucks, (and according to one man are supplied by the government, and with their backing). In March of this year a mass execution was carried out on 145 men belonging to the Fur tribe in Wadi Salih by government and Janjaweed forces. In August, Fur villages in Mukjar and Bindisi were attacked, again by Janjaweed and government forces. The people were warned of their coming by the police who came with a letter from the Commissioner of Garsila telling the villagers to stay in their homes and not to clash with them. Forty-seven People from the villages were killed that day - one women was burnt to death, and all of their belongings taken from them.
Villages are attacked five times over. One woman called Kalima recalls that she tried to call to her husband when her village was attacked. But the militia men had killed him, and her son clinging to her in fear was taken away by Arab militia and burnt alive - the boy was 3 years old. Kalima was herself then raped by these men. Four hundred African villages and schools have been bombed since the ethnic cleansing begun. Another woman called Hadijah, whose children attended one of the schools told her story; her son had to be taken to hospital following injuries sustained in the attack. She went to look for her other two children but they had been killed. The two were found huddled in a corner together. Hadijah now thinks it is better to be dead.
To ease the problems of these attacks the Sudanese government with outside pressure, sent in the army to try and help the people but this has only worsened the situation and still the people fear for their lives and their safety. The people of Darfur have been rounded up like animals in a pen and pushed into camps where they are surrounded by the army. They are not allowed to leave the camps to collect fire wood for their food, they have no money and so women sneak out of the camps to look for wood. On one occasion, four women from the camp took this chance and went out early in the morning. They were caught and were surrounded by militia. After being questioned as to where they were going, they were called donkeys. One woman was raped four times while her niece, a 13 year old girl, was raped three times and whipped. She can now hardly walk. Women are gang raped in public or in front of their families so that they are humiliated. There are now 10,000 people in Darfur camps that are dying a month. Is this Genocide? We think it is.
So what are the governments doing about it? In the programme Hillary talked to MP Chris Mullin, the Foreign Minister who, once questioned about whether there is genocide taking place in Darfur, limply replied by saying that the government fails to call this genocide and hypocritically told Hillary that they do not run Darfur. (Well they certainly have a good go at the rest of the world! This includes Iraq).
In April 2004, Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, speaking at a conference said regarding Rwanda in 1994 that they did not act quickly enough and vowed to step in and prevent it happening again. But here we have it happening again. Just what is classed as genocide? Hillary has spelt it out for the UN in case there are any doubts;
How can we know if it is or isn’t genocide if no one goes into the country and finds out, and even if this is not genocide why are we letting people just die with no care?
It amazes us to see that nearly 4 thousand people lost their lives in the World Trade Centre and we went to war because of this. We are still at war yet we have failed to capture the men allegedly responsible for this crime. TEN THOUSAND people die a month in Darfur. Men, women and children are being shot, burned and raped and we look away.
The 1948 convention was set up to make sure that the holocaust never happened again - where are the actions to these words? Apart from minimal medical aid and some food aid getting through, no one is helping these people. We are at war in Iraq, for what? It is hypocrisy at the highest level, the US and UK government took us to war saying that they wanted to liberate the Iraqi people from an evil dictator yet here we have people in Darfur begging for outside help and we say ‘oh, it might not be genocide and we don’t really want to get involved so lets look away’.
Well we sit here now and we know that we cannot look away and so that is why we have added this to our Save Our Earth web site. There is a massive human rights abuse going on NOW and we need to do something about it. So what can YOU do? Here we have a letter that you can download and send to Tony Blair, George Bush, and Chris Mullin, in fact any one in power, all leaders.
Act now to help these people for if we do nothing we are just adding to the deaths. (Please feel free to add your own comments or even better send your own thoughts to the leaders). These are our brothers and sisters and to allow this to happen cannot even be an option. When you sit down to your Christmas meal this year think about the people in Sudan - how they have not eaten for days, even weeks and let your heart be compelled to act NOW.
Apart from the human tragedy that is happening in Darfur, we were also compelled to act because of the reasons that the Militia are attacking the villages. This is due to the areas that the Militia used to roam have ceased to be fertile land and are changing into desert. The Militia are moving towards the fertile lands to graze their animals. The reason for the ever-increasing desert is due to GLOBAL WARMING - it is our lack of action towards saving the rainforests and trying to slow down climate change, is putting man against man as they fight over fertile land.
Please see links :
- Click on the picture to download a sample letter to send to your Government to ask them what they are doing to help the people of Sudan.
To sign a petition for the US President to help the people of Africa who are in desperate need of medical help to fight the Aids Virus please go to :
www.makepovertyhistory.org : The campaign for the 'justice' angle, the tool to achieve the necessary political change to fight poverty.
http://www.liveaiddvd.net : The official website of the Live Aid DVD - money from the sale of the DVD will be used to fight famine and poverty in Africa.
The Band-Aid 20 Single - 'Do They Know It's Christmas?
See http://www.airstudios.com/bandaid.shtml for more details on the recording of the record.
Please help raise money for the people in Darfur by buying the new Band Aid single which has just been released. The stars that sing on it are; Chris Martin, Sir Paul McCartney (bass guitar), Bob Geldof, Midge Ure, Radiohead, Robbie Williams, Dido, Bono, Daniel Bedingfield, Natasha Bedingfield, Turin Brakes, The Thrills, Will Young, Katie Melua, Busted, Joss Stone, Lemar, Jamelia, Keane, Beverley Knight, The Darkness, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Snow Patrol, Sugababes, Travis, Danny Goffey (Supergrass, drums), Rachel Stevens, Estelle, Feeder, The Divine Comedy, Moloko, Shaznay Lewis, Morcheeba and Ash. Damon Albarn served tea.
Lets make this the biggest selling single ever to help the people in the Darfur region of Sudan. Buy as many copies as you can and break all records. Let us send a clear message to the governments that the people have and always will have the power. We also need to force them to act with our words and so please send your letters off, don’t wait till tomorrow where you may forget. Let’s answer the prayers of the people of Darfur. Miracles can happen.
P.M. Gordon Brown
10 Downing Street
President G.W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
Secretary of State Ms Condoleeza Rice
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
Minister for Foreign Affairs in Africa
Chris Mullin M.P.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011
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