I've rarely been a big fan of Hollywood-style, lefty social activism. But two cheers for activist-actress Mia Farrow for taking on the continuing genocide in the Darfur region of western Sudan.
The situation in Darfur could be resolved in a matter of days and weeks if the Bashir regime in Khartoum was willing to abide by its commitments. A nation-state loses its legitimacy when it permits its own citizens to be slaughtered at will with no consequences locally, nationally, or internationally.
Here's a recent comment about Darfur from the highly credible International Crisis Group:
The Darfur conflict has changed radically in the past year and not for the better. While there are many fewer deaths than during the high period of fighting in 2003-2004, it has mutated, the parties have splintered, and the confrontations have multiplied. Violence is again increasing, access for humanitarian agencies is decreasing, international peacekeeping is not yet effective and a political settlement remains far off.
The bottom line is that the innocent still die daily inside Darfur as the interagency wrangling and political realities prevent the peace-keeping forces from moving into position with the necessary resources.
There is a student organization in Canada, Dream for Darfur. It's doing good work in raising funds for advocacy and care.
But other organization, Olympic Dream for Darfur with support from Mia Farrow, is upping the stakes for corporate America and the Beijing Olypics. ODD is pressing China and American corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics '08 to influence the Islamicist regime in Sudan to end the genocide.
Farrow's recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal states more of the staggering facts of how the killing is crossing borders and hitting even the relief worker population in the region:
This week, Oxfam's director in Sudan, Alun MacDonald said, "Our staff are being targeted on a daily basis. They are being shot, robbed, beaten and abducted." The security situation, he insisted, "is the worse since the entire conflict began." Seven aid workers were killed in October, according to Mr. Macdonald. "These aren't conditions we can keep working in."
For Christians, the Save Darfur Coalition is an faith-friendly and evangelical-supported organization that draws in local churches and community organizations.
They have a zip code-friendly database that provides ready access to like-minded folks who are burdened to stop this killing. I put in my local zip code in the western suburbs of Chicagoland and found about 10 groups.
This is the kind of grassroots effort that in time will bear fruit.
Pray for Darfur.
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