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Friday, April 02, 2004

Genocide Watch

NY Times columnist Nick Kristoff has written movingly about the genocide currently underway in the Sudan, in Darfur, along the Sudan-Chad border. Apparently the Sudanese government is fanning local antagonisms and providing support for local Arab populations to wipe out their Black neighbors. Reuters reports:
Arab militias are conducting an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing to drive out black Africans from Sudan's Darfur region and the government is doing little to stop it, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator said on Friday.
Reports suggest that 500,000 or more refugees have fled the area. Many readers no doubt are asking, what can I do? Kristoff, on his blog, suggests donating to Doctors Without Borders, which he says is "perhaps the most involved" organization assisting the Sudanese refuges in Chad. Now Doctors Without Borders is a fine organization, and I donate to them. But clearly, what victims of genocide need, as the fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto could have told you, are weapons. How can they defend themselves without arms? But how to help? It looks like Norwegian People's Aid, an international relief organization founded by the Norwegian trade union movement might be the ticket. They've been accused of providing weapons to the rebels fighting the slave-traders who govern Sudan. "Slave traders," by the way, is simply statement of fact, not an exaggeration. I don't know if these Norwegian do-gooders are really shipping arms to the rebels, but they make clear that they support the rebels, rather than following most other NGOs in maintaining an immoral neutrality in the battle between the genocidal slave-traders and the rebelling slaves. And the US government also works closely with the NPA to provide assistance to the Sudanese opposition. See this Philadelphia Inquirer article, which is the best brief summary I've found on the web. Unfortunately, NPA's website doesn't make clear how to send a donation. I've sent an email asking how to help. I'll keep you posted.

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