Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Chin Up, Eugene! For several months now, blogger Eugene Oregon has been writing posts about the genocide in Sudan and sending them out to more than 90 members of the Coalition for Darfur, all for the purpose of raising awareness and hopefully a little money to support those fighting back.

His efforts have been positively received. But, as you can imagine, it's tough to change the world one blog at a time.

I just want to publicly thank Eugene for all the effort he is putting into this. This story will never have a happy ending -- it's just too late for that. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't keep telling the story.

Instead of words from Eugene this week, he has sent us an article by Fergal Keane, a journalist, author of a book about Rwanda entitled "Season of Blood" and producer of a recent BBC "Panorama" episode on Darfur. Mr. Keane has first-hand experience of the horrors in Darfur.

Last November I was in a refugee camp in Darfur when it was attacked by the Sudanese police.

They wanted to shift the displaced people to another camp where they would be easier to control.

Many of these people had been driven from their villages by Sudanese soldiers and tribal militia. They had seen their fathers, brothers, sons murdered, their mothers, wives and sisters raped.

The police beat and tear gassed them.

The clubs and staves smashing into bodies already made weak by hunger. Stinging, choking gas sending infants into convulsions of coughing.

The world knew about this. There were observers present from the United Nations and international aid agencies.

At one point, as plastic bullets were being fired, the UN security advisers told their staff to leave. The situation was no longer safe.

To their credit the UN staff stayed. But the Sudanese police regarded us all -- unarmed Westerners with our notebooks and expressions of outrage -- with contempt.
Read the whole thing.


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