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The Mass Plight Of Famine And War in Sudan

Guest rohale
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Guest rohale

I thought it would be nice to change pace from the usual talk of President Bush, Senator John Kerry and Iraq. For the last few weeks, the BBC news have been doing extensive coverage of the mass problems in Sudan. Not since Rawanda, has the United Nations seen an exodus of people fleeing their homes to avoid the blood shed as they are in Sudan. In that nation the situation is grim day by day. In townships across the country, thousands are fleeing from Arabs who are bent upon to conduct ethnic cleansing upon the predominantly black population. They are fleeing to neighboring country Chad, thus creating a mass refugee problem. In the Orange County News Register, there was a pic of one lady who had lost both her husband and child. They had been systematically butchered to death. She wanted she should die because she lost everything so dear to her life. When I saw that picture in the paper of this beautiful lady with tears in her eyes, it made me angry. Yet the world preoccupied elsewhere. The famine grows in that country and Sudanese doesn't have the guts to put a stop to these arab barbarians. With the world preoccupied else where. With only a handful of countries talking to the Sudanese Govermnent to at least talk to the nomadic arabs. The famine looms on that country day by day. How many more thousands will it take before a country decides to take a risk and get in harms way to save thousands from mass genocide and starvation. The poor people of Sudan don't deserve this.



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another failure of the united nations which is standing by and doing nothing. another failure of "old europe" which is not occupied with troops in iraq and could step in to do something. everyone seems to want the united states to do it all.


years ago, an israeli told me that his country knew that it could never depend on the united nations to protect it an assure its survival. they needed to be able to protect themselves as in the end, that is all they could depend. stories like this one confirm his position.


to add insult to injury, sudan is on the united nations commision on human rights! when it was re-elected to the commission in may, only one country walked out, the united states. other commission members include cuba, nigeria and saudi arabia which gives you an idea about the commission in particular and the united nations in general.


the united states has tried to get the united nations to act but it will not. if we had the troops, would the bush critics find this a place for "uniteral action"? unfortunately, there seems to be no one to save these people from the arab butchers. not even being muslims seems to be enough to protect them from other muslims as it comes down to race. not even the muslim world can find the strength to help their fellow muslims.

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The State of affairs on the continent of Africa is most critical. To put it simply, the entire region is experiencing Genocide. Years ago when the UN was carving up Africa into "Free Nations," they made sure to draw lines in the sand forcing enemies to share a nation. Thus promoting long term political unrest.


The desertification of innner portion of the Continent shrinks the available farming lands and communites where people can live.


AIDS has wiped out millions of people in Africa. And many more are infected. As a result, there are record numbers of orphans without homes or families.


Because Europe and the United states refuse to share technology with and/or engage in the same kind of trade with African nations that they do with each other, there is little hope for those nations to see any end to the poverty. They will continue to be riddled with high crime, disease and poverty.


What concerns me the most is how little the American press covers the true stories of Africa. With all the surpluss this country has from it's farms, we could feed millions. Yet in many cases, the grains we produce rot in storage.


There is something terribly wrong with the United States foreign policy. We talk about Human rights and freedoms and we boast about our wealth, but I am ashamed at how we treat other people.


We are no better than the thugs and tirants who rule some of these countries. Hell, the truth is, we put many of those tirants in office.


We as a nation should be ashamed of whats happening over there, and we should be outraged that our press isn't bringing this story to you.

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"The famine grows in that country and Sudanese doesn't have the guts to put a stop to these arab barbarians. With the world preoccupied else where. With only a handful of countries talking to the Sudanese Govermnent to at least talk to the nomadic arabs."


Surprise -- the arab barbarians ARE the Sudanese government. That's the problem. This crowd has been systematically destroying Christian and animist people in the non-Arab parts of Sudan for more than a generation, and finally someone is taking a look. I'd like to think it's because our Secretary of State is African-American, but for whatever reason, this longtime ethnic cleansing is at least on the screen now.

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Well, BigMastr4u & SouthBeachBottom are both right. The Sudan is a nation carved out of colonial strategies, with no regard to the people & culture within it's borders. But the Arab north of the country (which is the Sudanese government) IS in fact the bogeyman. Having been given power by the former british colonial government, they can do as they please, and the black, animist/christian south will and does suffer.

Two tribal ethnicities, the Nuban and the Nuer have already been driven practically to extinction by this Islamic-led genocide.

No one cares because the black south of the Sudan basically has nothing of value. The arab north, while having also nothing of value,

is, well, arab, and related therefore to the oil-rich and strategic nations of the Middle-east.

And while it's fine to invade certain Arab nations, there are others whose toes we certainly don't wan't to step on.


cynically, Trix

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it seems that in the community of the world's nations, only the united states is pushing for help to these suffering people; powell is trying but with the united states ocupied in the afgan/iraq area, we have no troops to send. i keep asking myself, "why doesn't the united nations act?" a little pious talk occurs and people die but that's about it. the US AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT is the largest food donor to sudan but with a corrupt government, the food is not going where it is needed.


the united nations is good only for talk. it is corrupt to its core (when the "food for oil" program details are released, everyone will be "shocked, shocked" that there was corruption and pay-offs). this is the organization kerry wants to look to for help in iraq? the sudan is a simple case where it can act to save hundreds of thousands of people and it refuses to do real work.


the united nations is great at critizing the united states (in the case of abu ghraib, rightly so); the united nations needs to save its own soul; the united nations needs to act now with all the force it can muster. dialogue is great but at some point action needs to occur. if the united nations can not act in this clear cut case, how can anyone expect it to do anything in the more complicated iraq.


while i agree that africa today is the result of poor decisions made by european colonial rulers long ago (as is part of the middle east such as kurdistan), there is no excuse why the last several decades have produced such misery in africa with the united nations standing by while millions died in wars and famine and genocide.to these people the united nations has been worthless and failed to live up to its promise.


personally, i have no faith in the united nations; it's a failed idea.

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today's wall street journal has an editorial on sudan. well guess what, there is oil there and guess who has the rights to the oil: france, china and russia. china and russia are selling aircraft and weapons to sudan as well (all the better to kill the black civilians). that trio will stop any united nations actions. human rights and decency take second place again. watch for lots of talk but no actions fron the united nations. there will be big tears but the dying will continue.


it is a world of thomas hobbes and the united nations is a failure to change it. just as the league of nations failed to stop the axis in the 1930's and we got world war two, the united nations will not stop the forces of terror and "evil". this does tie back to iraq in my eyes as kerry keeps stressing he'll go to the united nations to help bring an end to the terror murdering the civilians of iraq; i can just see iran (who is probabally doing its best to stir up trouble), syria and the other mideastern dictators falling into line to bring a democracy to an arab country for their own people to see as an example of what is possible.

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"There is something terribly wrong with the United States foreign policy. We talk about Human rights and freedoms and we boast about our wealth, but I am ashamed at how we treat other people."


The ONLY thing you should be ashamed of is the very HYPOCRISY of your selected rants and your shame to be an American! You rail about our invasion of Iraq, but advocate just such an invasion of Sudan, for the same weak purpose of humanitarianism. Why is that, unless it is racially based?


Yeah, let's put the sacrifices of America, in all areas, not the least of which is the loss of American lives, in comparison to the "sacrifices" made by the rest of the world! The REST of the world, in such a comparison is SORELY LACKING!, so why not rant against the rest of the world! :(

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well, there is a CNN story on AOL this morning that updates what is happening. the united nations passed a resolution that "implicitly" threatens to impose sanctions if sudan does not stop the atrocities in darfur. danforth told the security council that 240 to 440 people are dying there every day. mind you, the reso;ution did not threaten sanctions but just implied them. to the people in darfur, this is a cruel joke at best.


now what these people did was give sudan 30 days and if nothing changes then they will talk some more; in the 30 days, thousands will die---more than on 9-11!!! the united states wanted sanctions in THIS resolution but had to take out the hard language. the united nations is failing badly but could we expect more? if this was israel killing palestinians there would be screaming, sanctions, threats of war, etc. but then israel does not have oil interests to be sought after by france and the other parties on the security council.


lets revisit the issue in 30 days. my guess is there will be some more talking but the killing will go on. the united states seems to be the only major force pushing for any type of resolution to the killings. we can't do it alone; no one else seems to want to pick up the fight to save these people.


kerry is vague on his iraq "solution" except it seems to involve the united nations doing something to stop the terrorists and thugs who want to gain control by kidnapping, beheading, bombing, murder, etc. why would the august body really do anthing to help the people of iraq gain a stable government? if their excuse is they are letting the people of iraq suffer to punish bush but would reward kerry with help, then they truely are a disgusting bunch; more likely, they will show their worthless side by doing nothing for kerry as well. the people of iraq better not look to the united nations for help and the people of darfur are an example for them as to the united nations care and concern for people in need.


when the united nations can not act in the clear cut case of the people in darfur, they will not act in the harder case of iraq. the united nations is following the same path as the league of nations. history is indeed repeating itself as tragedy.


in my idealistic youth, i was a huge united nations supporter. now in my old age, reality has shown me what the united nations really is. it is a debating group that will not make any hard choices and show leadership.

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I did some surfing around on the internet about this situation, it's all very, very depressing. Southern Sudan used to home to over 40 sub-saharan ethnic groups, each with their own languages, tribal traditions, beliefs, etc.

For the most part they have been scattered to the wind. Three ethnic groups, the Nuban, the Nuer, and (I forget the third) are considered extinct.

Anyone seen that somewhat famous photo of a gorgeous african nude wrestler being carried on the shoulders of his friend?

Those gents were Nuban... the tribe has been hunted to extinction by the arabs because the Nuban preferred not to wear any clothes.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw this posting on a website and I think he is probably close to being right in what he says:





While it varies of course, probably much like yourself I have detected a disturbing trend in the overall response to any unfolding "international humanitarian crisis".


I don't mean this to appear as cynical as it reads. Just think on it. Here's a template, from which one might be able to glean "what will happen next":


1) Human rights/activist group holds press conference/issues report/spokesperson appears on major morning shows, and is "scathing" in its condemnation that unfolding "humanitarian crisis" in __________ is being outrageously ignored by "the international community".


2) Much discussion takes place in media for next 24-48 hours, especially about "history" of said conflict, which brought on said "humanitarian crisis".


3) U.N. high official states in interview with leading opinion-making newspaper that matter is to be placed under urgent review, and in fact, the U.N. has already begun to oversee refugee camps. But the "uncertainty on the ground" is making delivering aid "difficult and hazardous".


4) Major news organizations (CNN, BBC, the A.P., "Reuters") begin to report "from the ground" in __________ , and correspondents despair that sanitation, water and medicine are just not sufficient, and perhaps will run out within days. Simultaneously, other correspondents in Washington and London question U.S. and British government spokespeople. What are their government's views on the "crisis"? Should troops be dispatched urgently, to deliver blocked aid, and provide "security"? And if they are willing to deal with the "crisis" in __________ , why have Washington and London done nothing for the Congo?


5) Within 24 hours, U.N. Secretary General is interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour, and expresses hope "the international community" will come together to avert what is now a "humanitarian catastrophe". Secretary General offers to broker cease-fire.


6) U.S. Secretary of State is asked at State Department briefing directly about what U.S. will do about "crisis/catastrophe" in __________ . The Secretary is non-committal as of yet, but plans to visit region as soon as possible to get views of all interested parties. Expresses U.S. support for solid work being done by U.N., under what appear to be "terrible conditions".


7) Human rights/activist group holds press conference/issues report/spokesperson appears on major morning shows and is "scathing" in its condemnation that unfolding "humanitarian crisis/catastrophe" in __________ is -- 48-72 hours since their last press conference/report/appearance on major morning talk shows -- still not being adequately dealt with by "the international community". Time, they state, is fast running out.


8) Within 48 hours, U.S. Secretary of State returns from "fact finding" mission. In interim, U.N. Security Council meets, and votes to endorse previous U.N. actions, and asks "interested parties" to "work hard" to cope with "humanitarian crisis".


9) Various media become increasingly vocal in condemnation of U.S. and British "lack of urgency" in dealing with the "crisis", claiming Washington and London are dragging their feet "while people die."


10) Leaks from "unnamed sources" at the White House and Number 10, state that Washington and London will shortly announce willingness to dispatch small number of troops, as part of "multinational force", preferably coordinated by the U.N., to oversee "security" and to help with aid deliveries. However, given the "urgency" of the situation, the U.S., Britain and some other countries may be willing to act as soon as possible, even without the U.N. if need be. But no U.S. or British troops will be committed before a timetable for an exit strategy is approved.


11) No one thinks to ask Paris. French Foreign Minister holds press conference anyway. "Le Monde" reporter asks loaded question: Washington's wider motives are clear, aren't they? Minister states that France wants only to solve the "crisis", which France is appalled by. Minister then expresses concerns about viability of any relief plans, and asserts as well that "military action" is not under consideration at this time, but if it does take place, it MUST take place ONLY under U.N. auspices.


(French media and "intellectuals" had already been decrying even the thought of France's committing troops to what they feel is an "overseas, pseudo-colonialist adventure" . . . especially with so many French forces already in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lebanon, Western Sahara, in the Sinai, Israel, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia [not U.S], Liberia, between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Burundi, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Chad, Central African Republic, Haiti, the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman, in the French Caribbean and Guyana, in the Pacific region and the Southern Indian Ocean, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Gabon and Senegal.)


12) "Street protests" are organized hurridly around the world for the following Thursday. Organizers claim to want to head off "war", which will "solve nothing". Subsequently, reporting from the "protests", which we are told are attended by "tens of thousands" (and which include many "grandmothers and average people"), major media notes that "world opinion" appears "divided."


Reporter interviews 28 year old "sociology graduate student", leader of local protest organized by "Seattle Solidarity with __________" . Wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, while directing other "protesters" via his mobile phone, he accuses America and "England" of wanting to "steal the oil" and just being "fu--kin' imperialists." ¶ by Robert, Thursday, August 12, 2004

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RE: The Mass Plight Of Famine In The United States


The Facts About Hunger in America


In 2001, America's Second Harvest's network of food banks provided emergency hunger-relief services to an estimated 23.3 million people. 9 million of these are children under the age of 18. 1


In 2002, 34.6 million Americans (12.1%) lived in poverty- that's 1.7 million more than in 2001. 2


In 2002, 7.2 million families (9.6 %) were in poverty, up from 6.8 million (9.2 %) in 2001. 3


In 2001, over 12 million American children (17%) lived in poverty. 4


On average, almost 22.5 million low-income children participate in free and reduced-price school breakfast/lunch programs. However, only 21.2% of these receive these same federally subsidized lunches in the summer. 5


Over 8.7 million children receive benefits from the Food Stamps Program.


The number in poverty and the poverty rate for people living in the suburbs rose from 12.1 million and 8.2 % in 2001 to 13.3 million and 8.9 % in 2002. 6


Food security is a term used to describe what our nation should be seeking for all its people -- assured access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life, with no need for recourse to emergency food sources or other extraordinary coping behaviors to meet basic food needs. Food insecurity means not having access to enough food due to lack of financial resources.


11.1% of households experienced food insecurity in 2002- this number is up from 10.7% in 2001. In 2002, 3.5 % of these experienced food insecurity with hunger. 7


In December 2003, the number of unemployed persons was 8.4 million or 5.7%. 8


38.9% of America's Second Harvest client households surveyed have one or more adults currently employed. 9


A number of people who are in poverty also participate significantly in the labor force. In 2001, 32.9 million people of all ages, or 11.7 % of the population, lived at or below the official poverty level. About 6.8 million were 16 years and older and were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more during the year. These persons, also referred to as the working poor, represented 4.9 % of all persons 16 years and older who were in the labor force for 27 weeks or more-an increase of 319,000 (0.2 percentage point) from the previous year. 10


Of emergency food recipients, 62.8% have attained high school diplomas or above. 11


1 America's Second Harvest, Hunger in America 2001

2 U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty in the United States: 2002, Current Population Reports, September 2003

3 U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty in the United States: 2002, Current Population Reports, September 2003

4 Food Research and Action Center, State of the States 2003

5 Food Research and Action Center, State of the States 2003

6 U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty in the United States: 2002, Current Population Reports, September 2003

7 USDA Economic Research Service -Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Report No. October 2003

8 US Dept of Labor, The Employment Situation: December 2003

9 America's Second Harvest, Hunger in America 2001

10 November/December 2003 issue of the Monthly Labor Review US Bureau of Labor Statistics

11 America's Second Harvest, Hunger in America 2001



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Sadly the US is very badly served by its news organisations and the information that would inform this topic is just not generally available. Fortunately you should have access to the BBC News site which is carrying extensive coverage of the crisis.


The French, contrary to the ideas of one poster, already have forces in the region providing support in next door Chad where large numbers of refugees are. On the other hand they have made limited contributions to the UN Fund although Japan's contributions are nothng short of disgraceful. The African Union is sending troops into the Darfur region but only so far to protect obververs. These could be transformed into a peace-keeping force and would be far more acceptable in the region than a pure invasion by the US and UK. Thoe countries could, however, provide logistical support with limited numbers of specialists and suitable equipment such as temporary bridges to enable the food aid to get to the most needy.


I appreciate that large numbers of children in the US go to bed hungry but few actually starve. The USA does have a huge problem with malnutrition of the vast majority of its population but this is more in terms of excesses and deficiencies (too high fat and calories, too little fibre) rather than the pure lack of food these people are suffering. For most of this region, food is constantly at subsistence levels but the people have mechanisms to cope with shortages. If I can give an example of a country further south I know a little more of to give specifics; in Zambia the staple food is "mealie". This is the common stabple in southern Africa and is milled maize, similar to very fine "grits". In times of plenty it will be served with various vegetables and meat. As things get harder, the meat will not be present but the mealie will be served with the usual peanut sauce and the vegetables. In times of great shortage, the mealie will just have salt to flavor it. In extreme shortages, various seeds and vegetables are scavenged from the surrounding bush.


With the attacks on their villages, the black afticans from the Darfur region do not have access to their versions of this coping mechanism and have been forced from their homesteads. Food stocks have been lost or looted and next season's sewing has been abandoned. Even if peace were restored tommorrow, the normal cycle of food production will be disrupted for a year or more. Relief does have to be very carefully handled and just dumping excess food production on the thrid world, as USAid has a tendency to do, is not the answer.

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