SOURCE: For an estimated three million Darfur villagers, it’s been seven long years of bombs dropped by (old Russian ex-military planes) camel-back raids, displacement, rape, and being robbed of humanitarian aid. For refugees unable to leave the region, it’s been as many as seven years in makeshift homes without basic utilities like clean water or electricity, public schools, jobs, markets, doctors’ offices or hospitals. And for the orphaned, it’s been as many as seven years without parents to provide or care for them.
In 2004, George W. Bush declared Sudan’s National Congress Party’s military-backed burning, bombing, and raiding of Darfur region villages a “genocide”. Though many people recognized that the incessant pillaging of the Masalit, Fur, and Zaghawa villages equaled the systematic destruction of Sudan’s black Christians and animists, the UN and the International Criminal Court have not seen fit, until this July, to indict Bashir with genocide for the initial attacks that took place years ago. The fallout amounts to a virtual lost generation of uneducated, voiceless, landless, and orphaned.
This past March, just when the beleaguered folks living in displacement had an offer of democratic election dangled before them, it was whisked away. Voters were excluded or dissuaded by violence, a much-disputed 2008 national census, and by the ballot-box-stuffing of Khartoum insiders. It was a reign in which the Janjaweed militia targeted and torched specific villages, slaughtered inhabitants, and pursued the survivors into the nether regions simply for belonging to ethnic groups suspected of sympathy with rebels. Omar al-Bashir has been the head of state who mandated, commissioned, supplied, and gave his blessing to it all. And in April of 2010, his displaced and ravaged and orphaned voters supposedly re-elected him – an accused genocidal maniac – to an eight-year term as their first democratically chosen leader in 20 years.