Jan 292010

“These people do this from time to time”
Samantha Power, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of, “A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide”, in an interview with me in October, 2006. Ms. Power currently serves as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

“These people do this from time to time” – was the response from higher-ups in the U.S. State Department to the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State as she managed American evacuations from Rwanda during the Rwandan Genocide in 1994.

Power explains the importance that the genocide designation bears in holding accountable not only the perpetrators, but also outside actors, both international actors and foreign governmental actors, by their action or inaction.

In an interview with me in December 2006, Darfuri rebel leader Abdelwahid Mohammed Al-Nur pointedly stated, “We are not just black boys killing each other.”

The Forgotten People:
Mayom Angok “IDP Camp”, March 2007 – just south of the border with Darfur, is a “camp” for people displaced by the violence in Darfur. Once native to this land – having fled to Darfur during the years of the North-South civil war – they return now to the South to find their communities utterly destroyed.

The Government of South Sudan is meant to provide food and shelter to returnees and those fleeing the violence in Darfur, but here there is no sign of aid forthcoming. The blue UN tarps that provide meagre shelter from the elements are what little they managed to take with them from Darfur.

As the evening approached storm clouds gathered on the horizon, marking the onset of the rainy season, promising to cut these people off from all contact with the outside world as roads become impassable, and planes cannot land on the drenched ground.