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“The term genocide is counter to the facts of what is really occurring in Darfur.” -Andrew Natsios, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, addressing Georgetown students last week

I’m not sure what “facts” Mr. Natsios is looking at, but this is just not the case. The reality is that the situation in the Sudan is as dire as ever, with the region on the brink of collapse. Government-sponsored Janjaweed militias are using rape, starvation, and mass murder to systematically kill more than 400,000 innocent people and displace 2.5 million more. U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Margareta Wahltstrom has said that the situation only continues to worsen and frequent attacks on international workers make it nearly impossible to provide relief and aid to the victims. Last month, 14 U.N. aid agencies working to provide relief in Darfur warned that their operations would collapse if security did not improve.

Enough talk, Mr. Natsios, and a little more action. Even if the Bush Administration cares little about the plight of the Sudanese, there is action even we can take to end the government-sponsored genocide in Darfur. 62% of Americans think Darfur should be a priority, and there is one major way average Americans can take the lead President Bush has not: Write your elected officials and encourage them to divest from Sudan and its supporters. Divestment campaigns helped lead to the collapse of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s, and is one of the best ways organizations and individuals can produce real change.

Six states and over 30 universities (including Georgetown) have sold investments relating to Sudan. Sudan relies heavily on foreign investment to fund the genocide (as much as 80% of the oil revenue in the country goes to fund the military), and the Sudanese government has shown a historic responsiveness to economic pressure.

For more information, visit SudanDivestment.org.

It is already too late for too many in Darfur. Let’s put an end to this genocide before millions more must suffer.


Chris Dodge said...

well said.