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Subj: Sudan Infonet
Date: 11/8/00 5:29:27 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: SudanInfonet

[Sudan Infonet has received the following general invitation to the opening of the Sudan Exhibition and a public program on Sudan at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In addition, the Holocaust Museum has granted Sudan Infonet permission to distribute the attached article which ran as an OpEd story in the Washington Post. Regards, SI Administrator]

Sudan program at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Opening of Sudan Exhibition

Wednesday evening, 7 p.m. on November 15th


Committee on Conscience
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


Starvation as a weapon of destruction . . .
Slavery . . .
Bombing of civilians . . .
Persecution on account of race, ethnicity and religion . . .

These horrors and others are realities in Sudan, Africa's largest
country. They devastate individual lives, while threatening the
existence of entire groups, leading the Committee on Conscience to issue
a genocide warning for Sudan.

As part of an ongoing effort to alert the national conscience to this
catastrophe, the Committee will unveil on November 15 a special display
on the threat of genocide in Sudan with a public panel discussion,
featuring:

Dr. William Lowrey, moderator
Lomole Simeon Mwonga, Chancellor, Episcopalian Diocese of Khartoum
Jemera Rone, Counsel, Human Rights Watch
Roger Winter, Executive Director, U.S. Committee for Refugees

Wednesday * November 15, 2000 * 7 p.m.

FREE and open to the public.
To guarantee seating, call tickets.com (800) 400-9373.
Service fees apply.

100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024
www.ushmm.org

Metro: Smithsonian
_________________________________

Carnage In Sudan

By Irving Greenberg and Jerome Shestack

Washington Post, Tuesday , October 31, 2000 ; Page A23

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, America's memorial to victims
of the Holocaust, is meant to be a living memorial, responding to the
future even as it remembers the past. The sacred trust of memory requires
us to confront and work to halt genocide today. That is why we are
compelled to speak out on the continuing slaughter in Sudan, where the
museum's Committee on Conscience has determined that government actions
threaten genocide.

One does not lightly invoke the specter of genocide--the intentional
physical destruction of national, ethnic, racial or religious groups as
such. But the horror that afflicts Sudan is staggering: some 2 million
dead; another 4 million to 5 million driven from their homes; government
toleration of the enslavement of women and children; mass starvation used
as a weapon of war; churches and mosques destroyed; hospitals and clinics
bombed; widespread discrimination and persecution on account of race,
ethnicity and religion. Primary responsibility for this devastation belongs
to the Sudanese government, a military regime based in the north. The
principal victims include the Dinka and Nuer peoples in the south and the
Nuba in central Sudan.

The conflict is often described as pitting the Arabic-speaking, Islamic
north against the African south, where Christianity and traditional
religions predominate. But the reality is more complex. For example, the
Nuba, who have suffered so much, live in the center of the country, and
many are Muslims. And one pernicious government strategy has been to
encourage fighting among ethnic groups in the south, especially the Dinka
and Nuer, with devastating effects for the civilian members of those
groups. Sudan's diversity means that the carnage defies easy
characterization. But the effects in terms of shattered lives are all too
plain.

Indeed, many see the appalling toll and say that genocide is not a threat,
it is a reality. Whether genocide is actual or threatened, the moral
imperative to respond is overwhelming. We cannot remain bystanders as this
remorseless fire consumes the people of Sudan.

Recent events indicate that the government is poised once again to use mass
starvation as a tactic. Threats this summer by Sudanese President Omar
Hassan Bashir to cut off U.N.-sponsored relief flights to the south were
followed by government bombing attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers
and relief planes on the ground. The resulting disruption of U.N. and other
aid operations put thousands of civilians at risk of starvation. A 1998
famine in the southern province of Bahr el-Ghazal that was attributable to
human rights abuses and flight bans killed tens of thousands of Dinka and
others.

And as bad as the situation already is, it promises to get worse. In late
1999, the Sudanese government began earning hundreds of millions of dollars
from new oil production, made possible in part by Western oil companies
such as Talisman Energy. This hard currency gives the government both
greater means and greater motive to accelerate its assault on targeted
groups. As one Sudanese cabinet minister said, "What prevents us from
fighting while we possess the oil that supports us in this battle even if
it lasts for a century?"

The problem is that the government "possesses" the oil only if it cleanses
ethnic groups such as the Dinka and Nuer from the land under which it sits.
The government's desire to secure oil fields has fueled a vicious
scorched-earth campaign, laying waste to a broad swath of territory.
Amnesty International has documented what it calls "the human price of oil"
in Sudan: "a pattern of extrajudicial and indiscriminate killings, torture
and rape--committed against people not taking active part in the
hostilities." Tragically, there will be more to come: The government does
not yet control the richest oil deposits.

A Sudanese government "charm offensive" has softened its international
image. But its practices have not changed. For example, a government plane
dropped a dozen bombs on a Catholic-run medical dispensary in the south,
destroying the clinic and injuring six people.

For too long, the devastation in Sudan has been largely invisible to the
world, and remote from the concerns of the American public. We must make it
more visible. To that end, the museum's Committee on Conscience will be
undertaking a determined campaign to alert the national conscience to this
catastrophe--through public programs, through a display in the museum that
will open Nov. 15 and through communications with policymakers.

We cannot do otherwise. Remembrance of the Holocaust has instilled in us a
profound appreciation for the cost of silence.
____________________

Rabbi Greenberg is chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial
Council, and Jerome Shestack is chairman of its Committee on Conscience.
____________________
Distributed by Sudan Infonet: An information and education service of the Sudan Working Group -- USA
SudanInfonet@cs.com

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Copyright 2000 Sudan Infonet
Last modified: March 12, 2001