Update: On the Ground

This situation for Darfuris on the ground is deteriorating quickly. On a conference call on March 11, International Rescue Committee (IRC) indicated that they were able to put in place a few supplies before they were ordered out. They estimate that medicine will run out in one month, and fuel supplies for water pumps will be used up in two weeks. Lack of clean water leads to the spreading of a disease that is easily curable in our homes – diarrhea.

OCHA estimates that in one camp, 4,000 children we currently receiving extra food and medication for severe malnutrition. Will these children survive? My guess is no.

Doctors without Borders was preparing to vaccinate 130,000 Kalma camp displaced persons for meningitis before they were expelled. Reports indicate that 2 people have died and 28 more are already infected.

The Government of Sudan not only expelled these NGOs but seized their assets – that means trucks, food supplies, records (registered Darfuris receiving aid) and bank accounts. The Government who harbors 3 WAR CRIMINALS has been allowed to retain all the supplies keeping the same population alive that they want dead.

From sources inside of Darfur say:

Eyewitness say armed men on 2 vehicles kidnapped 7 aid workers from Doctors-Without-Borders workers in a hospital in Saraf Omrah location in Central Darfur. The kidnapped workers: one French national, one Italian national, one Canadian national, 3 other International staff, 2 sudanese national (guards). Doctors-Without -Borders organization is one of the organizations that medically treats and documents cases of rape and other atrocities, which angered Government of Sudan(GoS).

Situation in the large cities of Darfur is extremely tense. News from Elfasher that there was sporadic gun fires in the last five days. Janjaweed forces are seen roaming the city freely and assaulting citizens.

A Darfuri activist in Midwest ( U.S.A.) told me this morning that GoS security agents are looking for her sister in Nyala (South Darfur). She said her sister has no political affiliation or activities. She believes that Government of Sudan’s agents in U.S.A. has a hand in what is going on to her family back home. ( All demonstrations supporting ICC decision on 4th of March in major U.S. cities by Darfuris in Diaspora were taped by GoS agents). This Darfuri activist is a student in a university. She told me she cancelled all classes today just to keep calling her relatives in Sudan, Arabian Gulf countries, to follow up situation in Darfur.

Some IDP refugees in a camp in west Darfur ( UmTagook) were forced to get out in a demonstartion (yesterday Wednesday) condemning the ICC warrant of arrest. A l TV channel from Khartoum ( Alshoroug TV) taped the forced-demonstration to be shown nation-wide.

Retributions are going on against outspoken IDP camps leaders. Thur IDP camp ( West Darfur) leader Sheikh Haroun Mohamed Ishag was lead out by armed men and killed by gun fire at a short distance from the camp.

It is clear that news like this demands strong, loud, and sustained action until our leaders step up and speak out for Darfur. We cannot allow our leaders to make small steps, like statements of condemnation, and the movement to call for a victory. We must set our sights on REAL action towards policy changes, as outlined by ENOUGH.

Check out our Action page – stay engaged – more actions to come. Have ideas? Send us your comments, let’s mobilize.

Stay connected with daily blog posts by Michelle at Change.org.

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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Category: Issue 8: March 2009 · Tags: , , ,

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