"I am certainly not one of those who need to be prodded…"

The Darfur situation is undeniably a genocide.

Published in the Daily Bruin

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Genocide is happening in Sudan, and no country other than Sudan denies that is the case. George Bush, Colin Powell, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon and the UC Board of Regents are among the world leaders who have called the situation in Darfur a genocide.

While Reed’s viewpoint (“‘Genocide’ term may be detrimental,” May 21) is an opinion piece, the captioning of that photograph is rewriting history in a very dangerous way. And although everyone is entitled to an opinion, I would have hoped that our newspaper was in the business of representing the truth. By captioning the genocide as a belief or opinion held by the Darfur Action Committee, the Daily Bruin inaccurately represented the truth as fluid.

But the truth is not fluid. Reed’s opinion represents a very small minority. I do not disagree that the situation in Darfur is complicated, but it is certainly genocide. Over 300,000 people have died at the hands of government-equipped militias known as the Janjaweed, or devils on horseback. While it may be the case that rebel groups are committing similar atrocities, to argue that these rebel groups represent all Darfuris, or that they constitute a significant opposing military front, is ludicrous. The Darfuris that have survived are internally displaced with few resources, let alone organization.

By naming the situation in Darfur a genocide, President Bush and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have imposed upon themselves the responsibility of taking action, according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, ratified by the United Nations in 1951.

If this newspaper believes that either leader is mistaken or simply overeager to accept the grave responsibility of taking action, perhaps it was correct in its captioning.

“Darfur Action Committee holds a die-in, in protest of what Tristan Reed deems is not a genocide in Sudan.” Perhaps that would have been a more appropriate caption.


“Darfur Action Committee holds a die-in in Meyerhoff Park on March 7, 2007, in protest of what it deems a genocide in Sudan.”

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