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Pittsburghers marched in Squirrel Hill on Sunday, April 3rd to bring attention to the on-going crisis in Western Sudan.
On Sunday, April 3rd between 50 and 100 members of the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition and other people concerned with the ongoing crisis in Western Sudan marched through Squirrel Hill.
Following the march, the group gathered for a community forum to discuss the genocide that is occurring in Sudan. Zeinab Eyega, a Sudanese scholar, spoke of how the conflict affects women, especially in regards to sexual violence. Eyega spoke about the need for more female relief workers because many women are afraid to come forward about rapes.
Eyega also outlined ways in which she thinks the conflict can be resolved. She said that the world needs to support the UN sanctions against Sudan and that the UN needs to increase their peacekeeping force to 30,000 workers. Eyega stated that 51 people responsible for much the violence were arrested in Darfur and that the U.S. is one of the few countries that does not support taking them to International Criminal Court in the Hague. A Divestment campaign was also mentioned as a way to exert economic pressure on the Sudanese Government.
It amazes me that our society can put on blinders with regard to certain events in the world. But it appals me that our government which has more knowldege of what is occuring can deliberately ignore horrible circumstances in which thousands are being slaughtered. Nothing has changed in the world's sensitivity to injustice. A holocast happened because of that. The Armenian death march in Turkey happened because of that. The Kurds were exterminated in Iraq because of that. The genocide in Rwanda occurred because of that. And now the Darfur region of the Sudan is being depopulated and destroyed.
We should not be surprised that our world is not at peace. Injustice will continue to breed violence. Only when the civilized world rises up and lives according to justice and establishes policies that demand that justice
be exercised in all areas of its influence will things change. Instead, power is selectively exercised where our economic interests are threatened and not were human life is threatened. But a people gets the government it deserves. Many do not want to know what is happening in the world. They want to go on living thier lives insulated from the pain of the world, watching televison and shopping at the malls.