The Tragedy of Sudan
"The moral irrelevance and depravity of the U.N. and its member states can be summed up in one word: Darfur."
JACQUELINE BALK-TUSA Washington
I have been haunted and sickened by the photos and news coming out of Sudan [Oct. 4]. Most of the world seems to completely ignore the genocide in the region of Darfur carried out by the government-backed Janjaweed Arab militia against non-Arab Muslims. World leaders appear to be waiting for the murder to magically come to an end. With all their wealth and power, why aren't they jumping in to save the people in Darfur? Are Sudanese oil interests and political alliances so important that 50,000 people must be allowed to die? It feels as though we are losing our sense of humanity. My hope for the future of our world is diminished each time we blatantly ignore the needs of our fellow human beings.
KRISTY CARUSO Sauquoit, N.Y.
A decade after the genocidal murders of the Tutsi by the Hutu, Rwandans are still confronting the memory of their worst crisis. Today the Janjaweed are similarly butchering black people in Darfur by the thousands, yet the U.N. won't call it genocide. Maybe the tragedy will fit that definition when thousands of human skulls are stacked up in memorials as in Rwanda. What is more genocidal than the story you reported: a 1-year-old baby boy being tossed up in the air and shot? Please, U.N. members, help now.
STANLEY WASHYNTON Zurich
The tragic violence in Darfur was predictable. If it isn't famine, genocide or plague in Sudan, then it is some other catastrophe in Rwanda, Somalia or Nigeria. I find it incredible that these nations cannot or will not build a self-sufficient society. Why are so many African nations mired in the 15th century?
EDWARD C. MURPHY East Peoria, Ill.
In Darfur, male children are being murdered because the Janjaweed believe they could be future enemies. How dare my country ignore this grim situation! Why is genocide allowed in this day and age? Is it because it is happening on a continent that is mostly black? How can we turn a blind eye to this African Holocaust? You reported that Secretary of State Colin Powell, in congressional testimony, stated his conclusion "that genocide has been committed in Darfur, and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility, and that genocide may still be occurring." But in this election year, neither presidential candidate advocates immediately sending any of our troops to Africa.
TRACY BAILEY-PALUBA Conshohocken, Pa.
The Sudan atrocities are a tragedy that you, sadly, and I will tolerate while we concentrate on sports, television, movies and the rest of our selfish interests. The media cover only as much as we want to watch. The death of 50,000 people is no more important to us during this election season than are the ties the candidates wear during the debates.
JOSEPH T. TEIXEIRA JR. Bristol, R.I.