Jan 292010

“Peace is Indivisible”
Jan Pronk, June, 2006: “persona non grata” – Pronk was the UN’s Special Representative to Sudan from 2004 to 2006. The Government of Sudan expelled Pronk after he criticized Khartoum’s leaders “for violations of international agreements and human rights”.

Peter Aduok Nyaba, PhD, former rebel in Southern Sudan’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA/M).

Reverend Gloria White Hammond, MD, activist, humanitarian, founder of “A Million Voices for Darfur”. Hammond also co-founded “My Sister’s Keeper”, which helps to provide women and girls in war-torn Sudan with education, healthcare and economic development.

Modus Operandi – the Government of Sudan’s MO is to use proxy militia to do much of its fighting, to carry-out the killing of civilians, combined with air power from its air force, which drops bombs on villages.

Divide and Conquer – Khartoum has also been very affective in creating animosity between the many ethnic groups in Sudan. During the North-South conflict, the Government of Sudan recruited Darfuris to fight the war in South Sudan and commit the same kind of atrocities there as we see being committed in Darfur today.

Despite this dark history between Darfuris and Southerners, the Government of South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, is trying to help bring warring Darfuri rebel groups, who also fight one-another, to the negotiating table. There is speculation in some circles as to whether or not the Darfuri rebels and the Southern Sudanese may join together to fight their greater common enemy in Khartoum one day.

Jan 292010

Tension in the narrative:
The activist’s idealism vs. the cold hard realities of geo-politics and economics.

This film explores the disconnect between the efforts and hopes of activists, journalists, diplomats, and politicians in the West, and the cold hard realities of geo-politics and economics that block those efforts from having any significant impact on the ground in Sudan, to stop the violence, and on daily life with all its struggles and suffering for the large majority of the Sudanese people. This story is fractal.

We see :

  • celebrities like George Clooney trying to move the media – the cameras – to pay attention and bear witness.
  • award-winning journalists like Samantha Power and the New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who have traveled to Sudan at considerable risk to themselves to try to tell the story first hand.
  • diplomats and politicians, such as Jan Pronk, trying to move the international community through the UN’s Security Council to take more decisive action.
  • US politicians from both sides of the aisle, including now US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling for the same within the halls of Congress and the Senate.
  • the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor who has worked tirelessly to build a case against GoS leaders, which has culminated in an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President, but one that has not been honoured so far by other African countries.
  • a US President who called the killing “genocide”, significant because it was the first time in history that a sitting President called a genocide for what it was as it was happening.
  • and former Sudanese rebels who talk of taking up arms once again, seeing no other alternative as all other apparent rhetoric and efforts on the world stage, meagre as they ultimately are, amount to very little to bring an end to the day-to-day suffering of the Sudanese people at the hands of their government. This suffering is born not only from the out-right violence of the GoS’s military and its proxy militia, but also by attrition – the silent deadly workings of hunger and disease in Africa’s third-largest oil producing country.
  • we see women trying to feed their families and struggling to have a greater voice in the communities they are trying to help rebuild, that indeed they had helped to defend during the war.