The photo is recent (2006) and the genocide is continuing. Here is a report dated Dec 8 from Doctors Without Borders more properly known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
At least 50,000 civilians fled to the precarious refuge of the arid countryside after a series of violent attacks in Muhajariya and the surrounding area. For many of them it was not the first time they had to leave—they had been displaced from other regions and were already living under difficult conditions in displaced camps at the edge of town.
This is the 'city' of Muhajariya
These are the children of Muhajariya at Kalma Camp, South Darfur: (Photo: AAP Image)
This is Kalma Camp:
Believe it or not these kids are lucky, Kalma Camp is near the airport, close to Nyala, the closest thing I've seen to a modern city in Darfur and it has lots of access to aid organizations. Other Muhajariya are not so fortunate.
Thousands of families, forced to flee because of violent attacks, are scattered over inhospitable terrain south of the town of Muhajariya. They are living in small groups under bushes and trees, hiding from the scorching sun during the day and cold at night. Their food is running out, and they have little or no access to clean water. Photo © MSF
The MSF (Doctors Without Borders) report continues
MSF found an elderly man lying under trees to the east of Muhajariya with a gunshot wound and an open fracture of the femur. He described how his home in the village of Angabo was attacked on November 13. "Ten people came inside. They asked me who I was and if I had a weapon, then they shot me, took all of my money and burned my house. I was still inside when they set fire to it."
The Muhajariya news is disturbing because this is the region of Darfur which is still somewhat intact. The vast region to the northwest has been nearly entirely destroyed. To get a sense of the scale of the destruction take a look at the Google Earth image below. The orange pins indicate the location of a village which has been detroyed. Each villages was home to several hundred to several thousand people before being destroyed. (You can download the Google Earth placemarks here)
You can also read posts in the Google Earth Community forum on Darfur here and here.
In many regions every village is destroyed. Many of the residents dead.
For many, the violence came without warning. "I was in my home when I heard gunfire," a man who fled southwards, told the MSF team. "I stayed where I was and the next thing I knew I was shot! It was my hand that was hit. I saw two vehicles with fighters on the back of them—there must have been fifteen on the back of each vehicle. They were just shooting and shooting at my friends and into our homes."
The scope of the genocide is clear. If it doesn't break your heart, take a look at the camps in Chad.
These camps are simply vast seas of tents in an even vaster sea of desert as desolate as any place on earth. From a UN report
Touloum camp in eastern Chad houses more than 21,000 Sudanese refugees, the majority of them women and children ... Touloum now counts more than 21,000 refugees and it looks like most of the refugee camps in eastern Chad: tents covered with sand, children running around, women waiting with their jerry cans to collect water from the boreholes, goats and donkeys searching for food in the sandy soil.
These are among the poorest people on earth. Even without the war, these people struggle against the harshest of living condition. Now even that been taken from them. Their entire country has been burned, the people killed, the property stolen. An esitmated 400,000 Darfuri have been killed, 2 million refugees are scattered. A minority are surviving in camps such as Touloum. That is the situation and it's getting worse as we read this.
Chad is now in the midst of it's own internal violence
MSF report on Chad
Darfur violence is escalating and the increasing lack of security is preventing the few remaining aid organizations from functioning
MSF report on Darfur
So what is our government doing about it? Read this headline at the USAID site
Recent peace agreements in southern Sudan and Darfur bring with them the chance to improve the humanitarian situation of Sudan's most vulnerable people. Peace in Sudan also promises to advance regional stability, safeguard human rights and religious tolerance, end state sponsorship of international terrorism, and ensure the delivery of aid. The United States is the largest international donor in Sudan, consistently providing 80 percent of all humanitarian assistance-and more than $1 billion since 2005.
That's it then. I guess the war is over.
If you see through the self promotion, you may want to do something yourself that will really make a difference. A few dollars is likely to save a life. There are many aid orgabnizations active in Sudan, but my reccommendation is to help Médecins Sans Frontières. They have a strong presence in the toughest part of Sudan. Three MSF aid workers have been killed in their effort to save the Darfuri people. Please consider a donation to to MSF this year. It will make a great Christmas gift
Or consider a donation directly to the UN refugee aid organization
Provides an all-season tent to shelter a family of 5 from the elements.
More up to date information can be found in the Google Earth community thread about Darfur here
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