Magazine article New Internationalist

Eyes Wide Shut [Children's Drawings Depicting Devastation in Darfur]

Magazine article New Internationalist

Eyes Wide Shut [Children's Drawings Depicting Devastation in Darfur]

Article excerpt

These drawings were collected by paediatrician Annie Sparrow and researcher Olivier Bercault for Human Rights Watch. Without instruction children in refugee camps along the Darfur/Chad border drew scenes from their own lives of the devastation in Darfur.

In 1994 the world stood by while Hutu extremists slaughtered hundreds of thousands of their Tutsi neighbours in Rwanda. The Rwandan genocide is now seen as an egregious failure of the international community.

But it is happening again in Darfur. Black Africans in this huge area of Western Sudan are being systematically slaughtered by Arab militias with the backing of the Islamist Government in Khartoum.

Janjaweed forces have been terrorizing African villages throughout Darfur for the past three years. Six million people live there - half of them Africans, the rest Arab, almost all are Muslim. Nearly two million people have been forced from their homes, as many as 400,000 people may have been killed or died of malnutrition and disease. Thousands of women have been raped. It is a clear case of ethnic cleansing - nearly all the victims are black Africans.

The UN High Commission for Human Rights says the Janjaweed have operated with total impunity and in close co-ordination with the forces of the Government of Sudan. …

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