Thursday, March 17, 2005

From Darfur.

Not many Westerners have the courage and recklessness to go to the Sudan. Brian Steidle is one of them, and in this interview in The American Prospect he describes witnessing the genocide in Darfur, including an attack on the village of Labado, population 20,000, by government and militia soldiers and helicopters. Steidle and others protected the next village on the road by stationing less than a 100 African Union troops there, deterring an attack. "They were not going to attack our position because they knew that the eyes of the world are on the African Union troops.... This success story of the African Union can be replicated throughout Darfur, but only if they see their numbers increase. Right now there are fewer than 4,000 troops there. To repeat this kind of success all over Darfur, they need 25,000 to 50,000 troops."

For a fuller account of Sudan's troubles, if not Darfur's, and the sort of Westerner who may end up there, I recommend Emma's War, by Deborah Scroggins.

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