Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sudan & Darfur

Read basic facts about Sudan here and here and here, focusing on geography, people, economy, and government. Click here for a map.

The British colonized Sudan in the 19th century, and the country achieved independence in 1956.
Civil war plagued the southern part of the country for many years after that, and in 2005 a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed. Sadly, John Garang (listen to an interview with Garang here), the major southern figure who devoted his life to the cause, died in a helicopter crash in 2005. In 2003 serious conflict erupted in the Darfur region in the western part of the country. Compounded by environmental stresses like drought, government-backed militia wreaked havoc across Darfur--similar to the practices perpetuated in the south for so long. Read about the Janjaweed here, and read survivor stories here. China, among other countries, is heavily invested in Sudan, a rather complicated matter.

For the work of Sudanese artists, click here. For survivor stories from the South (sometimes called the "lost boys"), read here, and listen to a Sudanese rapper who survived civil war here. Survivor Francis Bok visited SBS three years ago. Read here and here also, and watch this.

Topics for Tuesday and Wednesday discussion:

1. history of Sudan

2. geography of Sudan

3. origins of southern conflict, Darfur conflict

4. realities of war

5. survivor stories

6. the future of Sudan

If this is a topic that interests you and you wish to read something further, read Jok Madut Jok's new book, Dave Eggers' book, or check out some of the latest offerings about Darfur. Check out the "Not On Our Watch" site also.

Bringing attention to Sudan is something I've spent some time doing, and once helped to bring some speakers to Houston. After clicking Houston click on "Search the archive...." and type in Imperative to Act. You will see links to two presentations; one with Mark Bixler and one with Jerry Fowler. I make a cameo appearance in the Bixler segment about 10 minutes in. Make sure you listen to the entire Bixler presentation, though, and make time to listen to Jerry Fowler's talk. He's been on the ground in Darfur.

The "Stop Genocide in Sudan" picture is the design of a t-shirt one of my former students had made a couple of years ago, whereas the other shot is a picture of Sudan along the Nile River.


Anonymous said...

Emmanuel Jal tells an amazing story. I can not imagine what it would be like to be a child soldier only at the age of 8! Operating a gun at that age, going with little sleep, and living like a grown up would be so hard on a child. Its sad that he was trained to where he didnt even miss his own family. I'm glad he is a Christian and prayed to God in his terrible past. Im a fan of his songs about peace. It is intruiging... my personal favorites are Baii and Gua (I looked him up on iTunes)- J.Graves

Anonymous said...

That is a terrible situation there in Darfur. A lot of celebrities are now starting to talk a lot about Darfur. Tracy McGrady, the Rockets all star, went down there to see what it is like firsthand. Hopefully he will get the message out like you have.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely terrible. When the Holocaust occurred no one thought a genocide of this magnitude would ever happen again. Well, he we are with another terrible genocide, maybe not as bad as the Holocaust but if we don't make some sort of strong effort to put an end to this it will turn into another Holocaust.

Anonymous said...

That was me

-Logan Herring