22 December 2005

A Brief History of a Quagmire

During the 1950s, as European colonialism was slowly but surely ending its reign, the Brittish government pulled out of an African nation called Sudan. And then things went to hell in a handbasket.

Mutliple militant governments have come and gone. The most recent one has faced multiple rebellions. So they called in the cavalry, an Arab militia known as the Janjaweed. This militia is directly responsible for the attempted, on-going genocide of thousands (180,000 lives lost). Despite "condemnations" (yet little action) on part of the UN and an African Union peacekeeping force, the attacks continue.

With international pressure mounting, you would expect that the government would call off the militia, and try to remove it by force, if necessary. However, they are sheltering rebels from neighboring Chad, in return for assistance to the Janjaweed.

Refugees from the region of Darfur, who flee to the country of Uganda, are forced to live in fear of being forced to fight in Ugandan rebel armies, also based in Sudan and sponsored by the Sudanese government.

The United States, who had been sponsoring the AU mission, pulled its funding. Despite protests from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Congress rejected plees to re-instate the $50 million that had been going to the mission.

This is your chance to help out. World Vision and Invisible Children are fighting to bring aid to the refugees and those still in Sudan. Visit their websites. Make a donation. Write your Congressman. Try to convince him that the Sudan needs our help. Do something.

Rock on.