Friday, May 28, 2004

Sudan: The Passion of the Present :

Sudan: The Passion of the Present :: "In Darfur, a region in southern Sudan approximately the size of Texas, over a million people are threatened with torture and death at the hands of marauding militia and a complicit government. Imagine parents forced to choose whether their children will be burned alive or shot to death. Imagine that in the very same month the world remembers the genocides of Cambodia and Rwanda, the unfolding news of another in Sudan is barely heard and largely ignored.
Genocide evokes not only the moral, but also, the legal responsibility of the world community. Under international agreement, a nation must intervene to stop a genocide when it is officially acknowledged. 'Officially' is the key word here. Though President Bush has publicly protested the ?atrocities? in Darfur and U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan has urged the international community to act, no nation has yet to officially acknowledge the truth: Sudan has become a bleeding ground of genocide. And in the void of our collective silence, the Sudanese government continues to act with brutal impunity.
Perpetrators of genocide do not want anyone watching. But individuals working in organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, GOAL, and Doctors without Borders are watching, and witnessing, and courageously standing up to care for victims of human rights violations. These individuals represent, for all of us, a personal capacity to bear witness to the passion of the present ? one candle lit against the darkness. However, before one can light a candle, someone has to strike a match. "