September 18, 2008

A Journey to Darfur

A Journey to Darfur is a DVD documentary done by George Clooney and his father, Nick. Back in April of 2006 they took a trip to the Darfur region to shine a light on the genocide happening there. They spent a little time on the documentary talking about struggles with the U.N. with just getting aid over there. What they wanteed from the U.N. was to provide troops or personnel to protect the displaced men, women and children from further harm. Even that kind of aid isn't being given.

Countless women and even young girls are brutally raped by the Janjaweed, these are groups of nomadic Arabs that are basically doing all the killing for the Sudanese government. It is so bad that the women can't even hunt for firewood without the threat of being raped. Sometimes unwanted pregnancies are the result. An interviewed professor (I'm sorry I don't recall his name) said that rape is considered a war crime, and is often used in war to cause humiliation and dispel any feelings of hope within a group of victims. Other things the Janjaweed will do is burn all the crops, food storage, huts and poison the water supply to discourage people from coming back to their homes.

Other parts of the documentary showed George interviewing some of the refugees. Many had sad tales and all had lost many members of their families. One interview happened when a little girl about 8 years old asked when they (the Americans) would be coming back with help. George answered, "Soon", to which she replied, "that's what they all say."

Upon returning home, the Clooney's attended a Save Darfur rally in Washington D.C., and also met with members of the U.N. Part of the problem is the U.N. is willing to get in help in the form of soldiers only if the Sudanese government invites them in. Of course, Sudan just isn't going to do that. At this point in time, our government and those of other nations are unwilling to go in without an invitation. They claim they don't want to start another holy war, because that is what Sudan says will happen if American troops come into their nation. The Clooney's want the government, individuals and groups to stand up and say, "Not on our watch".


Natasha @ Maw Books said...

It's ridiculous to think that Sudan is controlling who comes in to "help." It's as if the US government and the UN is asking Sudan, "Can we come in and stop you from killing your own people?" to which they say "Um, thanks but no thanks." And then we say, "Okay, no problem, thought we would ask. Have a great time killing everybody." And least that's the way I see it.