31 July, 2008

Understanding Darfur

21st November 2007

I claim no professional accuracy with this chapter.

How many of you actually know what is really going on in Darfur? Tired of not knowing myself, I decided to do some research. And here is what I understood from the whole situation.

Darfur is a region of Sudan, which is a country. The population there is divided between Arabs and non-Arabs, due to Egyptian origins or something like that, for a part of the people. I can’t get into details because I honestly would fail to explain all the intricacies, and that mostly because I couldn’t remember the name of a single group, except the evil ones, for which I made an extra effort.

The evil group in question is called Janjaweed, and they are a paramilitary group. They’re nicknamed the “Devil on horseback”, and they are the ones who kill and rape systematically. They target non-Arab villages, and let the Arab ones alone; sometimes two such villages are only 500 meters apart, and so it is obvious that there is a systematic pattern at work.

Please note that most of these people are Muslims, and that groups were formed to defend the attacked villages, in the name of Allah and basic human dignity. The evil ones – and yes, I will stick to calling them that despite your thoughts that perhaps I’m being backwards or retarded – are very much aware of it, as I will show next.

Most of you probably have heard about the murders and rapes. What you may not know, though, is why rape is systematically done to women. Here is why: being raped amounts to being ostracised from your own people; so basically, once raped, you become worthless to your village. I don’t know how accurate this is, in effects, but that explains why the Janjaweed do it and why they do it in public. Women are raped in public so that everyone knows these women have been raped. I have no idea of how comparable this is to a social death, but if they are really ostracised afterwards, then it would amount to such.

Another thing is that the murdered people are dismembered. Just the same as in Chechnya, where the Russian army is known to dismember the bodies of its victims. Why do they all do that? Here is why: Muslims are required to be buried in one piece, otherwise Heaven will be denied to them. The point here isn’t whether this is true or not, for I never read anything about that in the Koran, but the point is that the attackers know this is their belief, and they use it to terrorise them all the more. They kill them here in on earth, and steal them eternity too.

Those two things are important because you would be wrong to think that the Janjaweed are just adding extra fun to their horrible acts. It’s part of their mission, and that, of course, does not excuse anything. These acts are used as weapons, and that’s why you hear that “rape is a weapon” with regards to the Darfur crisis.

Why is all of this happening? Well, I’m not entirely sure, and I did some research. I understand there’s mostly a food crisis, which forces the nomadic tribes to move further south, or elsewhere, and feed on land that belongs to someone else, or something like that.

The government of Sudan also has a big deal of oil production in the region, and that tends to affect the situation. I heard critics say that some villages were destroyed because they needed the ground to get oil, but I am unsure of this.

The government of Sudan, however, is actively erasing evidence of the atrocities, by both making it almost impossible for journalists to come in (though famous musicians are allowed in, don’t ask me) and destroying the remains of looted villages.

Why isn’t someone doing something? Why isn’t the UN going in? Well, apparently, it’s because of the Sudanese government. They said explicitly that if the UN came in with forced armies, they would take it as an “invasion from the West”. Of course, that’s nonsense, and it’s a phony excuse; we know what card that government would be playing. “We’re another Iraq, blah blah.” No, you’re not: you’re a genocidal maniac government which sold its soul and you deserve to get busted.

Understand that the Sudanese government backs up the Janjaweed: they’re unofficially the army of it. Also know that the government itself, if not mistaken, has bombed the rebels’ base, and in some cases even villages, but once again, I’m not sure.

China buys oil from Sudan, and weapons from both China and Russia were found in the hands of the Janjaweed, including artillery and airplanes. If you think Darfur is only the problem of Sudan, you’re wrong. We no longer live in a world with that much boundaries; it’s all connected, mostly when there’s oil. So yes, China gets oil from Sudan, and that’s why it actively supports the massacre. China gave them weapons! Russia too! Russia is having its very own genocide in Chechnya, why would they care?

Now comes the part about the UN. I believe “what the fuck” is the three words I have for them. The UN is an important thing to have, but it should work. The UN has showed itself to be mostly a powerless fa├žade for as far as I can remember. It took them forever to act in the Balkan War, it took them forever to act with the Rwanda Genocide, and it’s taking them forever to act in Darfur. I know, troops have been sent, but that was a mixed army, and it basically didn’t help the situation much.

I don’t mean to justify the war in Iraq, but do you remember how many UN resolutions Saddam Hussein violated? Over 17 or something? I don’t recall the exact number, but my question is: at what point do you do something? How long do you let countries go around killing people, selling weapons to the killers? China gives weapons to Sudan, specifically so that they can kill the non-Arab population of Darfur; why is China even allowed to remain in the UN? There’s a point where you have to hit the table with your fist, or else you’re useless. If you’re in a city and commit a crime, they don’t wait until you’ve committed 17 crimes before they arrest you. One crime, one violation is enough, as it should be. Why is Iraq or Sudan or Russia or China allowed to fuck up so much?

I know China is starting to pull away from Sudan’s oil because of the attention it’s getting from the world, and as you know, or should know, China is trying to buy its entry in the big world, and it will use the Olympics for that purpose, to show the whole world where they’re at now. Someone proposed to boycott the Olympics if China keeps supporting the massacre in Darfur, and I thought it was a good idea. I know it’s not great to meddle sports and international affairs, but at least that would make sports useful, for a change.

Raise awareness! I’m tired of seeing Rock bands and famous actors talking about Darfur in ways you understand nothing about it, though I’m glad they do talk of it, so at least we know something is going on there. But when I see Matt Damon showing us in a Bob Dylan way that he wants a ceasefire, it makes me wonder if that’s any useful. Who are you asking that to, Matt? Me? I’m not having a war with anyone. The Janjaweed? For one, I don’t know if they would actually get the message, and secondly, if they did, why would they care what you have to say? Who is Matt Damon, or Georges Clooney, or anyone, to the Janjaweed? Why don’t these people also ask Ben Laden to please stop planning the death of innocent people?

Instead of that, those famous people should ask for immediate boycotting of China, and they should raise awareness of what countries help Sudan in committing the atrocities it’s committing. Now that would make some sense. How about “China is a great big whore” on that little board of yours, Matt? How about “I think Russia sucks Satan’s cock”, Clooney?

Oh, and Green Day, "Working Class Hero" and Darfur? I’d need to read the lyrics closely to see whether my impression is accurate or not, but it sure sounds like you’re off topic by one long China-made gun shot.


emil-szarvas said...

Hey Nicolas,
I agree with you about the raping going on among other things in Darfur. I believe that more than socially ostracizing the women, the Janjaweed are doing this as a way of dominating over those they wish to subdue. Or it could be another way of wiping out the population of the non-Arabic folk (i.e. any children born from such an unfortunate occurance will not be partly descended from their birth mothers' abusers/conquerors). This was an old tactic that was used by nations in ancient and modern times in order to conquer/subdue territories that they desire to control. One such example took place when the Mongols sacked the city of Kiev some time in the 13th century.
I too am also suspicious as to the motives behind the U.N. not lifting a finger to help. Something's rotting in the state of Denmark.

ForgetfulRainn said...

Interesting info! But yeah, I think it's important to see the reason for systematic rape beyond the obvious (domination, humiliation, theft of dignity, etc), because while the Janjaweed obviously don't resent these acts, they still commit them in very precise ways (in public, rather than in privacy) and etc.

I don't know if the situation has changed since I wrote that chapter, though.