A crisis of enormous proportion is going on in Sudan. Here (from the Religious Action Center) is just a bit of what is happening:
A humanitarian crisis is gripping Sudan, where tens of thousands of innocent lives have died and hundreds of thousands others are being displaced from their homes in the Darfur region by government-backed militias fanning the flames of ethnic and religious warfare. The world has thus far remained shamefully inactive in the face of these atrocities. It is now time not only for moral voices to be heard, but for the world to act before more innocent people perish.
“Is silence the answer? It never was.” – Elie Wiesel
According to the United Nations, of an estimated population of 6.5 million in Sudan’s Darfur region, more than 2 million people are being affected by an ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Sudanese government and its proxies against the region’s black African population.
The government-supported Arab militias-collectively known as “Janjaweed”-have attacked the civilian populations of the Fur, Masaalit, and Zaghawa ethnic communities, bombed and scorched entire villages and towns, destroyed water sources and food stores, and systematically targeted black African civilians for mass killings, rape, and slave raids.
In the past year, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 civilians have lost their lives; more than one million civilians have been internally displaced and forced to live in one of 129 refugee camps; and more than 200,000 have fled to neighboring Chad, according to U.N. figures. Refugee camps in Chad endure persistent assaults from the Janjaweed militia.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that the humanitarian crisis could claim 350,000 additional lives within the next nine months, mainly from starvation and disease. Already scores of thousands suffer from malnutrition and diseases such as malaria or cholera. A combination of the approaching rainy season and restricted humanitarian access threaten to cut off food and medical relief.
What can you do? Stay informed, write officials (local and national government, White House, United Nations…), raise relief funds, build interfaith coalitions working to end the genocide, pray, protest an be involved.
Here are some websites to help you do that:
Religious Action Center Geonide in Sudan information page
Committee on Conscience – United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Never Again is NOW!!
Save Darfur Day of Conscience – August 25th
Prayers for all faith groups
Jewish Coalition on Diaster Relief (A cross-denominational response.)
American Jewish World Service on Darfur crisis
Donate to the URJ Diaster Relief Fund for Darfur (100% of money goes to Darfur. Other funds being used for administrative costs.)
We must act, we must be the change in the world we want to see. (Ghandi)
We are not required to complete the work, neither may we desist from it. (Ethics of the Sages)