01/26/05 — Sudan: The killing goes on ...

View Archive

Sudan: The killing goes on ...

If the government of Sudan could be trusted, we could be assured of an end to a lot of slaughter, slavery, rape and plunder. Sudanese officials, urged on by Secretary of State Colin Powell, signed an agreement this month to end the carnage against Christian and animist residents of southern Sudan.

In the meantime, another war continues.

By the latest estimate, 200,000 residents of Sudan’s Darfur region have been killed by government-sponsored Muslim murderers. Another million are displaced, and many of them are succumbing to disease and hunger.

Exact figures on the number of deaths are hard to get. For one reason, Sudan’s government won’t cooperate with researchers.

To gain perspective into the situation, the United States commissioned a survey of refugees who had fled Darfur to live in tent cities in neighboring Chad. There are about 200,000 such homeless people.

The researchers talked to 1,136 of them, a sample that is considered large enough to reflect the views or experiences of all of the refugees. Of those questioned, three-fifths said they had seen a family member killed before their eyes.

An Associated Press report from the area said refugees told of “attacks timed to maximize civilian casualties, of attackers pledging to purge Darfur of its non-Arab black majority, and of mass burials of victims. Refugees ... spoke of air and ground attacks on market days or to coincide with other events that would draw large numbers of civilians.”

The United Nations Security Council is making its own investigation. Now that Sudan’s war against its South has stopped, at least temporarily, the world needs to take note of Darfur.

Published in Editorials on January 26, 2005 10:50 AM