Just because there are no media headlines about Darfur, doesn’t mean that the war is over. It is well known that the Khartoum sponsored Janjaweed are the main terrorizing force in Darfur. It has been conveyed since the genocide began that they were a group organized and funded by the Sudanese government, but the Government of Sudan was in denial. However, in the past few months, they have increased their attacks, and according to sources on the ground in Darfur, they no longer try to hide the fact that they are connected with the government.
What is most unfortunate about the entire situation is that the international community does not seem to care that the violence is substantially increasing and it has done relatively little to stop or prevent it. There have been no declarations, no sanctions, no calls for intervention of any kind, and yet the Darfuris continue to suffer. The only source that is reporting the violence is one of the most trusted, Radio Dabanga. In early May, they reported the Janjaweed attacked a refugee camp in South Darfur. They attacked the refugees, took their possessions, and even took a man captive. In June, Radio Dabanga reported another brutal attack saying, “The gunmen beat them with rifle butts and whips. Seven of the displaced were severely injured”. The common theme for these attacks, and for all of the attacks the Janjaweed commit is that they target the innocent. Not the rebel groups fighting against them, but they attack the vulnerable refugees, those who they have already forced to flee their homes.
For this reason, we at Darfur Women Action Group believe we need to empower the victims to speak up for themselves. If the international community fails at helping the Darfuris with this, it is responsibility we the people and the ordinary citizens of the world do instead. The most positive way an average person can make a change is through spreading awareness of the plight of the Darfuris. Use social media, talk about it often, and explain to others who do not understand the gravity of the situation how important it is that we stop it. We need everyone and anyone to help bring attention to this because of how important it is. The world must know that this genocide will not end if we ignore it, but the sooner we bring notice back to it, the sooner a solution will be found.
We the people must not stay silent in the face of the on-going genocide in Darfur. We must speak up and hold the world leaders accountable.
By Genevieve Turcott, Government Outreach and Relations Intern