Add Your Voice: End the Genocide in Darfur

by Cara on December 16, 2008

in action alert, Africa, Barack Obama, human rights, International, rape and sexual assault, violence against women and girls

Now that a Democrat has been elected to the White House, progressive groups everywhere are clamoring to have something positive done about their cause for the first time in 8 years or more. You’ve probably been getting a lot of email alerts, and asked to write a lot of letters. But one of the most worthy of those causes in need of support from you and the President-Elect right now is that of Darfur.

For those who somehow don’t know, Darfur is in the middle of a genocide. Between 300,000 to 400,000 people have been killed. Up to 2.5 million people have been displaced. Murder, brutal gang rape, extreme poverty and other violence have become apart of daily life, and so far, we’ve done next to nothing to stop it. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this video, Barack Obama talks about the Darfur genocide, the need for action, and says that he doesn’t “plan to turn a blind eye to slaughter.”

It’s time to hold him to his word.

The Add Your Voice campaign is asking you to help them send postcards to Obama, reminding him of his promises and urging him to work towards finally ending the genocide. So far, 120,000 people have done just that. It only takes a few clicks. Add your voice now.

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{ 5 comments }

1 Tom December 17, 2008 at 5:46 am

I hope they finally put the political pressure. Seems like wherever there is no oil, we don’t care if people die. Everyone should still do their part. Some charities are still working on the ground there, helping the displaced. I started a t-shirt line to help Women for Women that sponsors women in Darfur. you can see it at: http://www.unusmundusclothing.com

2 Nikki December 18, 2008 at 12:57 am

Thank you so much for placing a spotlight on Darfur and the ongoing genocide there.

Fyi, the ENOUGH Project, Save Darfur Coalition, and the Genocide Intervention Network recently released an open letter to President-elect Obama, outlining in very concrete terms what the next executive administration needs to do to bring peace to all of Sudan. Among other things, the time is now to impose targeted multilateral sanctions against Sudan’s genocidaires. Let’s completely freeze their bank assets (among other measures) and make the murderers think twice about continuing their violence.

Highly recommend this analysis. Download it here (PDF link):
http://enoughproject.org/files/reports/sudanpeacesurge_0.pdf

Best, N

3 Virginia January 25, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I just came across this post. I love the curvature blog and when I saw you had a link to SaveDarfur.org I needed to speak up.

I am suprised a feminist blog would make the mistake of supporting an interventionist, neo-imperialist movement in Darfur. A commentor above said “Seems like wherever there is no oil, we don’t care if people die.” Sudan, and particularly Darfur, is floating on a giant lake of oil. China and the U.S. both have pipeline projects in the region already. The reason Darfur is in turmoil in the first place is because it’s so rich in resources – resources that are easy for “First World” nations to access when the government and people of the region are weakened by a conflict that leaves them struggling to meet basic survival needs.

And for everyone’s information, the U.N. has refrained from calling Darfur a genocide for a reason: it’s not one. The American media often touts the situation in Darfur as evil “Arabs” killing innocent “Africans” (anti-Arab rhetoric, anyone?), yet there is no discernable difference between these “two groups.” There is a conflict between Northern Darfurians and Southern Darfurians that was created and politically exacerbated by Egyptian and then British colonial rule in the region. Check out the history, it speaks for itself.

Africa’s history of war-entrenchment, poverty, disease, etc. is not a mistake. It is all a direct result of colonialism, the slave trade, and imperial relations with first world governments and their organizations ranging from the World Bank to the United Nations.

Intervening in Darfur and freezing it’s funds does nothing to end the genocide, it merely exacerbates it and increases the incompetency of the government there.

I am not condoning the deaths of innocent people. However it must be noted and acknowledged that these deaths and the corruption of Darfur’s government are the result of the PATRIARCHAL IMPERIALISM of centuries. Continuing intervention in Darfur, in all of Africa, exacerbates this legacy. Our most important work to combat this lies at home. We must work to end imperialism, end resource battles, and end the patriarchy of our own government. Fixing the ills in our government and policies will go a long way to end the current and future turmoil in not only Darfur, but all of the regions of the world struggling and wounded after the era of colonialism.

4 Cara January 25, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Virginia, I agree that there are many problems with how the situation in Darfur has been described by the media, and that colonialism plays a big role. I also think that there are many legitimate criticisms of Save Darfur out there (and their name is just a start, in my opinion).

I do, however, believe that we have to combat war crimes, human rights violations and genocide. And I do believe that all of the above is happening in Darfur. I think that there are reasonable arguments on all sides about how that can best be accomplished, but I certainly do believe that something has to be done, and that “solving the problems at home” isn’t going to help the millions of displaced people or stop the 300,000 high death toll from climbing any higher.

5 Paul January 26, 2009 at 2:44 am

Cara is right – whatever fears of being seen as “neo-colonialists” (another, empty, Cold War-era phrase like “imperialism”) must be measured against the reality that doing nothing is worse – many African leaders (Mugabe, Mobutu, Amin and Bokassa to name a few) have been more then happy to take advantage of white guilt (and certain white people on the American and European far left) over the colonial era to commit horrible crimes against their own people with impunity

As i just said, lots and lots of African leaders have done stuff like this. For example, how’s al-Bashir that much worse than, say, Daniel Arap Moi or Kamuzu Banda or Moammar Khadafy or Jerry Rawlings?

Darfur isn’t unique in mass slaughter either, take Amin with Uganda’s Christians and Asians, or the Hutu/Tutsi slaughters in Rwanda.

al-Bashir isn’t “the most vicious African dictator” either. Amin killed more people in a week than al-Bashir has in 20 years

And, of course, most African leaders are still reluctant to intervene in a “sovereign” state, especially when their own hands are none too clean.

We’re numbed, most of us, to horror from Africa; we only tend to get upset
about it any more when it’s particularly dreadful (Rwanda, Sierra Leone) or
when there’s something that makes it seem closer to us (white faces on the victims, such as in Zimbabwe).

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