On a very recent article by CNN, president of Sudan al-Bashir is quoted as saying that less than 10,000 people have died and less than 500,000 have been displaced by the five-year crisis in the region of Darfur. Reading this, it makes me want to burst out laughing, but what stops me is knowing that, just a month ago, newly displaced Darfuris were running to the border with Chad—injured people, raped women, horrified children—after seeing their villages destroyed in the exact same way over 90% of the villages in Darfur have been destroyed. al-Bashir numbers are ridiculous, but what is worse is that our leaders know the real numbers, and still there is inaction. There are close to one-quarter of a million displaced Darfuri in Chad alone, with millions more inside of Darfur. Hundreds of thousands have died. Those numbers don’t get close to describing the horrors that the world has allowed the real individuals, the real faces behind the numbers, to experience over the last five years.
The i-ACT team is now back in the safety of the United States. The “excitement” we experienced in the capital of Chad is not something we’d like to go through again, but we know we have to go back. The people of the camps are counting on you and us to stand with them. We were so lucky to have as our first Camp Darfur host a group from Hawaii. After dodging bullets in N’Djamena, Hawaii was a beautiful change of pace. Thank you to all in the islands—Leanne, Shahrzad, Pam, Joshua, and many more—for being so passionate about getting your community actively involved. I am proud to have you now as friends.
Urgency.We need to act with urgency! People will die in Darfur today. Women and girls will be raped in Darfur today. Children will be living in the middle of the Darfur desert with no home today. They will be victims, not because of what they have done but because of who they are.Let’s keep the pressure on our leaders. Please sign the Legacy Letter to President Bush. He still has a chance to change his legacy, from allowing genocide to standing up against genocide.
Let me know how we can do more, and please stay a part of our small community that will not give up until our friends are back in their homes, living a peaceful and dignified life.