Message From Home
Genocide is taking place in Darfur and millions of innocent men, women, and children are consistently being brutally murdered.
Darfur is located in the Western region of Sudan. The population was over 6 million, all of which were Muslim. Darfur was a British colony until it gained its independence in 1954. In 1989 the government of Omar al-Bashir took over and quickly became unpopular among most Sudanese because to its radical ideas. The inhabitants of Darfur are from African and Arab tribes. Up until then, they had lived together for centuries and shared a common language and faith.
The high rate of dessert growth produced violent clashes over land and water. Although these tribal conflicts were not new, in the past they had recurred to traditional frameworks for solving them. The Sudanese president, however, took sides and favored some Arab tribesmen. These men are now being used to attack and kill millions.
This documentary was filmed at different refugee camps in the Zaghawa region of Northern Darfur in the last few months of 2004. At the refugee camps, people try to get on with their lives as usual. They try to enjoy what they have left and even celebrate weddings, but reality soon hits them and they have to run for shelter when bombs are dropped on the camp, killing many instantly and injuring thousands of others.
Apparently, the conflict has a strong racial background. It’s somewhat of an ethnic cleansing against all indigenous Africans. The Arabs have been against the Blacks for a long time. Those who are old enough to remember the past say that there was a time when the Arabs were actually afraid of the Blacks, but because the government is now backing them, they are attacking to the point where entire villages have been wiped out and now remain depopulated like ghost towns. The Black people of Darfur are being forced to live under tyranny and ignorance simply because of one man’s whim.
At one particular camp near Bahai, Chad that houses 23,000 refugees from regions up to 50 km away, a teacher tells how he was put in jail and tortured. They accused him of supporting the rebellion and put a knife to his neck. The school was completely destroyed. They tore up the books and then burned them.
The dangerous part of these camps is that the children are growing up without an education. Some have built improvised walls from mud and gathered the children together to try to teach them a few things even though they have no books, paper, or pencils. Most of the children are orphans, whose parents were killed by the attacks.
The people of Darfur feel that they’re alone and that nobody is listening to what they are going through. They have only two options: fight to survive or sit and wait to be killed. Watch this film now.