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Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Atrocities in Darfur 

Last month I posted notes on a talk Nicholas Kristof gave on the situation in Sudan/Darfur. Here's Kristof on the media's inattention to the ongoing crisis:
Kristof asserted that since most of the deaths are expected to come from famine and disease, Darfur just isn't as immediately compelling as, say, Bosnia or Rwanda. His words were something like "when people are being killed with machetes, that gets attention more than when it's hunger or diarrhea." Once again, it's hardly an excuse, but this factor probably does have something to do with the media's lack of attention to the crisis.
Maybe the media will start paying more attention now:
Sudanese militias have burned civilians alive in the Darfur region, say African Union military observers.

Men rode into a village on horseback, looted the market and chained people up before setting them on fire, they say.

They are "believed to be Janjaweed" - the pro-government militias accused of ethnic cleansing against non-Arabs.

[Source: BBC]
It's worth noting that the reports are coming from African Union military observers, whose political bosses have to date been very reluctant to criticize the Sudanese government or its Janjaweed allies.

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