Thursday, July 15, 2004

Here is another devastating account of what is happening in Darfur, this time from an activist who traveled to the rebel-held areas of Sudan, where no aid is reaching hundreds of thousands of displaced people. John Prendergast, the author of Sudan's Ravines of Death, also provides evidence of mass graves of young men.

I was not prepared for the far more sinister scene I encountered in a ravine deep in the Darfur desert. Bodies of young men were lined up in ditches, eerily preserved by the 130-degree desert heat. The story the rebels told us seemed plausible: the dead were civilians who had been marched up a hill and executed by the Arab-led government before its troops abandoned the area the previous month. The rebels assert that there were many other such scenes.

The article ends by saying, "There has been a great deal of tough talk since the visits of Mr. Powell, Mr. Annan and others, but the United Nations Security Council so far has failed to act decisively. It is time to move directly against regime officials who are responsible for the killing. Accountability for crimes against humanity is imperative, as is the deployment of sufficient force to ensure disarmament and arrangements to deliver emergency aid. The sands of the Sahara should not be allowed to swallow the evidence of what will probably go down as one of the greatest crimes in our lifetimes."

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