A Current Event: The Movie Star, the Nuba Mountains, and a Genocide

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Thanks to George Clooney and Enough Project, another situation in Africa (besides Joseph Kony) is being highlighted. Actually, it probably wouldn’t be getting attention, except Clooney and some others got themselves arrested, protesting outside of the Sudanese Embassy. Way to get attention, Mr. Celebrity.

You all remember Sudan’s Darfur, right? You know, there were a lot of activist wearing shirts that proclaimed “Save Darfur” which helped many Americans become vaguely aware of a genocide. I wasn’t a full fledged activist back in the mid 2000-2010’s (rather than this new and glorious decade). I only studied it a little at my university. The situation George Clooney has been trying to bring attention to is almost identical to that of Darfur.

In a nutshell, Sudan’s government isn’t nice to certain people groups, largely because of skin color and possibly even due to religious beliefs. Regardless, the government of the north doesn’t like these people groups, and it doesn’t help that rebel fighters come out of them. The Sudanese government’s method is to destroy the homes, livelihood, and injure/kill the civilians themselves. In a way, their ugly tactic would work well. At least as long as no one else in the world says anything. But, what the leaders of Sudan are doing is considered as severe human rights violations and it is against international law (the most basic morals the nations of the world have agreed to keep each other accountable on).

Last summer, nicely, the lower part of Sudan (who really didn’t like the North because the North didn’t like them) was able to successfully succeeded from the country and South Sudan was born. Yet, the people who live near the new border, in the Kordofan and the Nuba Mountains, seem to have wanted to leave big Sudan as well. And I don’t blame them.

Regardless of their hopes, they are being randomly bombed all the time by their own government. A result of which is that there are a lot of refugees fleeing to South Sudan and a food crisis is threatening the lives of many (And it doesn’t help that the president is blocking humanitarian aid into Sudan). I don’t think any of us would want to live in that environment. Watch this movie by Clooney to get a feel:

George Clooney isn’t the only person who is getting some attention about this. There is this guy who used to work for a Christian humanitarian agency, Samaritan’s Purse, who has been dubbed “The Man Who Stayed.” This American guy, Ryan Boyette, didn’t leave the Nuba Mountain region when others were withdrawing due to the growing danger. He married a local woman and decided it would just be wrong for him to leave his new family/people just because he could, leaving them to push their luck. Ryan has been busy documenting the injustices befalling the Nuba people, while fundraising to start Eyes and Ears Nuba (Nuba Reports), as a journalistic endeavor. You can watch his story here at MSNBC.com.

Now, as always, it is up to you to decide what you want to do with these facts. Personally, I was trying to figure out how to appealingly petition you to care. I gave up on the “appealing” part and instead try to creatively explore my own reaction to what is going on (the picture on the right).

But I still don’t have words to incite you to action. I am sure we can all agree that bombing and killing people you just don’t like is not acceptable. What it comes down to is that the government of Sudan is just not being loving. As I don’t know, I’d like to ask your opinion: What do you think is the loving response to this atrocity?

I do have something encouraging to share, though.  Research has shown that because citizens of Western Countries started talking about the genocide in Darfur, action was taken. Not enough, but still, something happened. Darfur proved that grassroots movements among us average people actually do make a difference. I guess I want to be in on one of those grassroots movements. I want to stand with the Nuba and tell them that I love them and that I believe they are loved by God. Whatever it looks like, I want to be an advocate for these who are oppressed because I know that is the right thing to do.

Ideas for Action

Use Your Political Voice:

Signing Support the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act, a petition to your local congressional member, is the action that George Clooney is pushing. To me, this seems like the smartest move our government can make.
The boring details of the bill are right here.

Here is another petition by Amnesty International to the UN Secretary General, putting pressure on the International Criminal Court to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Both of these petitions take less than 90 seconds to sign.

Learn more:

Explore the websites of The Nuba Mountains Peace Coalition, United to End GenocideEnough Project or Refugee Writers.
Read the article Villages Razed in Sudan’s South Kordofan (March 18th, 2012).

Give Your Resources:

Donate to one of these organizations, who are working with the Nuba (note, I have not had the chance to research all of these organizations- they do not necessarily have my stamp of approval):
International Rescue Committee

Samaritan’s Purse

Bishop Gassis Sudan Relief Fund

Doctors Without Borders

Nuba Reports

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

 

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