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BTL:Darfur Region of Sudan in Midst of Humanitarian Crisis...

...Black Congressional Caucus Calls on U.S. to Intervene ~ Interview with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Darfur Region of Sudan in Midst of Humanitarian Crisis

Black Congressional Caucus Calls on U.S. to Intervene

Interview with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

A humanitarian crisis is ongoing in Darfur, the western region of Sudan, where over the past year, at least 10,000 black Muslim Sudanese have been killed by Arab Muslim Sudanese militias with the tacit support of the Arab central government in Khartoum. In addition, a million residents of Darfur have been displaced -- ethnically cleansed -- with 120,000 of them fleeing to refugee camps in neighboring Chad. Aid groups say a million or more people from the Darfur region are at risk of dying from starvation and disease if nothing is done. The conflict has historical roots, but escalated in 2003 when two rebel groups in Darfur demanded an end to chronic economic marginalization and sought power sharing within the Arab-ruled Sudanese state.

The U.S. Congress recently authorized additional funds to aid in the relief effort. At the end of June, both United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell traveled to Darfur to assess the situation. On June 23, the Congressional Black Caucus endorsed a petition drive initiated by the group Africa Action that calls on the U.S. government to define the events in Darfur as "genocide" and to intervene militarily to stop the killing and displacement.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Salih Booker, executive director of Africa Action, about the role the US could play in providing humanitarian relief in Sudan, the dangers that poses, and why, as the world was remembering the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide last April, the UN has been so slow to intervene in this current crisis.

To get more information, or to sign the group's petition, call them at (202) 546-7961, or visit the group's website at

Related links:

"Africa Action Calls Powell Trip to Sudan 'Dangerously Naive,'" Africa Action, June 29, 2004. 20,000 petitioners call for U.S. intervention to stop genocide.

"Genocide in Darfur," by Salih-Booker and Ann-Louise Colgan, The Nation, June 25, 2004

"300,000 Deaths Foretold," Washington Post, June 7, 2004

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://
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Let's call genocide when we see it

Its about time people here started focussing attention on the REAL humanitarian crisis in Sudan. The reports I have been reading say that 30,000 have been killed already, 1.2 million refugees, and 300 villages raised.

But contrast, some Indymedia types are still talking about Deir Yassin massacre back in 1948 in which about 120 people were killed.

Lets have some perspective. The Arab/Muslim military dictatorship govt. in Sudan is killing off Black Christians in the south and Black Muslims in the west. This is ethnic cleansing in its most racist form as people are being killed for having dark skin or for not being Muslim.

Secretary of State Colin Powell and UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan have yet to use the "G" word to describe the genocide going on there. Sucking up to Arab/Muslim countries is the most likely reason they aren't shouting from the rooftops about Sudan.

While the Resource Center for Nonviolence is scheduling speaker after speaker to condemn the Israelis (who are fighting the murderous Arabs), they have barely even registered the enormous human rights disaster happening in Sudan.

Where does the RCNV get their funding? Do they get any Arab oil money in the form of donations?
Would they lose funding if they started to condemn Arab countries of human rights abuses?

HUFF has long critisized the RCNV for its failure to address local human rights abuses such as the Sleeping Ban, the Blanket Ban, and the shooting death and subsequent cover-up of Happy John Dine in 1997.

But Israel puts up a fence, and they are trumpeting the "abuse" across several continents.


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