Friday, May 02, 2008

Darfur Crisis Update: A Tale of Two Men -- The Genocide in Darfur is a Morality Play in which the Best & the Worst in All of Us is Revealed

Image: Andrew Wong/Getty Images

As the Olympic flame was passed from one runner to the next on the streets of Hong Kong, Mia Farrow did her best to upstage the relay. With a group, made up mostly of reporters, looking on, she stood in front of government offices and ignited a flame of her own. ... Business Week, 5-2-08

Darfur Crisis Update: A Tale of Two Men -- The Genocide in Darfur is a Morality Play in which the Best & the Worst in All of Us is Revealed.

By Richard Power

Consider the fates of two very different men, i.e., that of Ahman Harun, former Minister of State for the Interior of Sudan and current Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, versus that of Mohammed Makki El Rasheed, a truck driver delivering supplies in Darfur for the World Food Programme (WFP).

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest
Ahman Harun last year: "He attacked Sudanese people, his people, those he vowed to protect as Minister; he is an indicted minister, he is a fugitive," ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a press release. "He will end up in Court." ... No national proceedings related to these crimes have been held in Sudan, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo noted. "Brutal and massive attacks, rapes, tortures were committed 5 years ago against Sudanese citizens and their own Government promised everything and has done nothing." UN News Center, 4-26-08

But the thugocracy in Karthoum continues to protect him and employ him.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Makki El Rasheed was murdered attempting to bring food to those displaced by Harun's henchmen: The latest incident comes days after the agency announced it will have to cut food rations to the strife-torn Sudanese region by half because attacks on its trucks are preventing critical relief supplies from getting through. So far this year 60 WFP-contracted trucks have been hijacked in Darfur, with 39 trucks still missing and 26 drivers unaccounted for. ... The attacks have meant that WFP deliveries have dropped to less than 900 tons per day. Normally, around this time of year, the agency's trucks should be delivering 1,800 metric tons of food daily to supply warehouses ahead of the rainy season, due to begin next month. UN News Center, 4-24-08

Harun is not alone.

The ICC also issued a warrant for Janjaweed militia leader Ali Muhammad Al Abd-Al-Rahman, a.k.a. Ali Kushayb, who did Harun's bidding; and Abd-A-Rahman is also being shielded.

Nor is El Rasheed alone.

Pascal Marlinge of Save The Children was recently shot while travelling in a three-vehicle convoy in eastern Chad. (UN News Center, 5-2-08)

Most governments have been hypocritical on Darfur, so have most corporations.

But, of course, despite the overpowering nature of the thought-forms they project, governments and corporations are no more than the collective will of those individuals who steer and sustain them.

This is why both Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha taught that the only way to redeem the world is to redeem yourself.

The genocide in Darfur is a morality play in which the best and the worst in all of us is revealed.

Here is an example of the best --

Actress and humanitarian activist Mia Farrow and French philosopher, Bernard Henri Levi, have issued a joint declaration:

Given the paralysis of the international community in the face of mass atrocities ongoing in the Darfur region of Sudan for more than five years;
Given the egregious impunity of the Khartoum regime and its allies on the Security Council -- which have rendered toothless all resolutions to protect the people of Darfur and end the killing;
Given the most current ploy of Khartoum to place every possible obstacle in the path of an effective deployment of peacekeepers, including the perverse twisting of the words and the intentions of last July's UN resolution, which stated that the UN protection force should be "predominantly" of African origin, not "exclusively," as Khartoum would have it;
Finally, given the fact that the African countries providing the protection battalions lack, by their own admission, the technical and logistical capacity to ensure the success of their mission to protect the defenseless civilians of Darfur;
In the face of all this, we implore our governments - that is, the current French and American administrations -- to act without delay and to partner with those African battalions needing assistance and to provide them with the essential training, the logistical support, the trucks, helicopters, weapons, etc., without which their mission will only be a terrible farce.
We call on our respective governments to hear this appeal and take responsibility without, once again, hiding behind the mysteries and bureaucratic inertia of the UN.
This is possibly the last chance to put and end to the bloodshed in Darfur.
Dream for Darfur, 4-30-08

See also Why Protecting the People of Darfur, Tibet & Burma is in Our Own Self-Interest; & What These Crises Tell Us about Our Own Slide into the Pit and Wangari Maathai Will Not Carry Olympic Torch, In "Solidarity with Other People on the Issues of Human Rights in ... Darfur, Tibet & Burma ..."

I encourage you to follow events in Darfur on Mia Farrow's site, it is the real-time journal of a humanitarian at work; the content is compelling, insightful and fiercely independent.

Click here to sign the TURN OFF/TUNE IN Pledge.

For a Words of Power Archive of posts on the Crisis in Darfur, click here.

Here are other sites of importance:

Dream for Darfur

Enough: The Project to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities

Genocide Intervention Network

Divest for Darfur.

Save Darfur!

Richard Power's Left-Handed Security: Overcoming Fear, Greed & Ignorance in This Era of Global Crisis is available now! Click here for more information.

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