There Are Currently 16 Million African Refugees
Ethnic violence has shaken western Sudan to its core, impacting as many as 2 million people, including more than 1 million forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. It is estimated that 400,000-500,000 of these are children.
Displaced families have sought shelter in temporary camps in Darfur in western Sudan where food, materials for shelter, and other essential items continue to be a primary concern. Family separation, sexual violence, malnutrition and lack of access to education and health care continue to be major problems for people who are refugees in their own country.
After reviewing the findings of State department and other U.S. investigators, Secretary of State Colin Powell told Congress “genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Jingaweit (government-backed Arab militia) bear responsibility — and that genocide may still be occurring.”
The United States is pushing the United Nations to follow its lead and formally declare that genocide is occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan. But Washington is encountering stiff opposition from some quarters, and indifference from others, especially Egypt, Pakistan and China which has threatened to veto any UN resolutions that imposed any sanctions on the Arab Sudanese Government in Khartoum backed by Saudi Arabia for its perpetration of genocide against the Black Africans of Western Sudan.
The bottom line, however, still stares the world in its face. “These people are in desperate need and we must help them,” Powell said. “Call it civil war; call it ethnic cleansing; call it genocide; call it ‘none of the above.’ The reality is the same. There are people in Darfur who desperately need the help of the international community.”