You hear voices outside your window-a lot of voices, too many voices for this time of night. These aren’t the voices of children; they are those voices that aren’t meant to be heard. You get that tight, scared feeling, as if your insides are huddling together for protection. Suddenly, the voices are no longer worried about being heard. They will be heard, and they want you out of the house. Everyone out of the house.
Now, in the broken reality of a yard lit by flashlight, you realize that the voices belong to soldiers, but they aren’t here to protect you. They are your country’s soldiers, but your country is no longer on your side. You are different and you must go. You think, “Who will help me?” but the flashlights have gone out and there are no more voices.
This situation is a reality for millions in the Darfur region of Sudan. Since early 2003, government forces and the government-backed Arab Janjaweed militia have been carrying out ethnically-based attacks against black Africans. These attacks have included forced displacement, rapes, tortures and killings. Thus far, more than 400,000 civilians have been killed; and more than 2.5 million people, primarily women, have been displaced to camps where basic supplies are often unavailable.
Although the international community has made some efforts to end the crisis in Sudan, much more work has to be done. On the humanitarian front, there are still millions of refugees in need of food, water and other basic provisions. In the political arena, the Sudanese government continues to practice ethnic cleansing. Please voice your outrage over the ruthless treatment of innocent civilians and pressure your elected representatives to guarantee the security of the Sudanese people. They are alone in the dark; they need you to care.
If you would like to learn more about the genocide emergency in Darfur, please visit www.standnow.org for the latest news updates.