Saturday, May 31, 2008
photo of Peacekeepers from pbase.com
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) - A peacekeeper for the joint U.N.-African Union force in Sudan’s Darfur region has been killed for the first time since the troops deployed five months ago, the U.N. mission said Thursday.
A Ugandan policeman identified as John Kennedy Okecha was found dead in a vehicle for the UNAMID force in North Darfur Wednesday, UNAMID said in a statement. He had been shot three times in the neck, chest and stomach.
UNAMID described the killing as «an act of cold blooded murder» and appealed to all those with any knowledge of what happened to share it with the appropriate authorities so the perpetrators can be brought to justice.
Big thanks to Cooper at Darfur: A Hell on Earth for the intel
The World Campaign Feature George Clooney
crossposted at UU
Thursday, May 29, 2008
To Representative Michael C. Burgess, Kay Granger, and Select Members of Congress
From: Eddie Griffin
Re: Open Tribunal Records on Child Soldier POWs
Dear Congressman Burgess & Congresswoman Granger:
As you know, this war has raised my most detestable ire, prosecution by inhumane means, and under the cloud of deceit. We never hear about the Geneva Convention code of conduct in this war. We never hear about the fatherless children of war.
We killed the fathers in battle and took the children into custody, some as young as 12 years old, and charged them with being “terrorists”. We subject them to torture and other harsh interrogation techniques to extract a confession.
Congressman Burgess: Are you in this war to kill the fathers and torture their children?
Congresswoman Granger: Do you approve of the treatment to these children?
Why can’t they speak for themselves, loud enough so all American citizens can hear?
I have highlighted the cases of several juveniles now incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. (Click on link). I was utterly shocked to discover the ages of these combatant. I forwarded my concerns to the Child Protection Division of the United Nations, because asking the US government to examine its own human rights practices has been like asking the fox watching the hen why feathers keep flying out of his mouth.
One child soldier has been held six years, without charges, until now since he turned 21. Now the government wants to bring him before a military tribunal and charge him with a capital offense. These are not isolated cases. A case in Florida proved false. In Dallas, an Islam charity group was exonerated after a long persecution. Now we have incarcerated some 60 or more teenagers, suspected of being terrorists.
A child throws a rock at a Germany tank in World War II, he is a hero. The same child throws a rock at an American humvee and he is a terrorists. Come on! You robbed this child of his childhood, ravished his homeland, killed his father, and destroyed everything that he has left. And, you people call him a “terrorists”. PLEASE!
You and the government have tried to keep the cases of these children quiet, by feeding us the propaganda that these are the notorious terrorists. You don’t tell us that you detain them because they are “potential” terrorist, a reverse berserk notion of crime prevention, as part of our war against terrorism.
Let the children speak for themselves, before you try to put them to death. And let every word of their testimony be read before the light of day, so people of the world can judge for themselves.
I have addressed this issue to the United Nations Commission on the Right of the Child. First, these child soldiers are protected by international law, which the United States refuses to be party to. But neither are they protected by US laws. Therefore, these children have no guardian or safeguards, other than the government’s false claims.
Eddie Griffin asks:
1. Under what circumstances were these children detained?
2. Were they afforded someone to represent them, as underage combatants?
3. Did they know their rights under the law or by the Geneva Convention, or under the Commission on the Rights of the Child?
4. Was he allowed to correspond to the outside world and ask for help?
It angers me to think that a 12-year old child crying out for help from a place like Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib, tortured into making false confessions that can only rain down more terror upon him and his family.
Detained and harshly interrogated spells torture in anybody’s book. And, these children had no way to cry out from the dungeon, except through hunger strike.
It angers Eddie Griffin personally because he has been there. I was once held incommunicado in a refrigerated deprivation chamber. I know what it feels like to scream through an open window into hollow air for help from heaven. I know the pangs of a hunger strike.
My testimony is recorded in the congressional records and records of the U.S. Supreme Court. It would not surprise me if part of their defense is based upon my experience in “Breaking Men’s Minds”, as one of a few surviving prisoners who were held incommunicado for political reasons. People forget that the Black Panthers were falsely characterized by the government as terrorists also.
Those incarcerated in isolated prisons without a voice deserves to be heard, unless you and the rest of Congress are too afraid of what you will hear. What does these children have to say for themselves and what has happened to them since being taken into custody?
I want to know, because I am an advocate for the Right of the Child. The American people want to know, how low we have stooped in the war on terrorism. The rest of the world already knows us, and have no respect for us. We are an eye sore upon humanity.
Eddie Griffin for ROOTS
Author of “Breaking Men’s Minds”
BASG, International Afrosphere Blog Network
Fort Worth, TX
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Instead of doubletalk let's just have a straight answer.
Are the people of re-developing countries human in the eyes of the corporations and governments that benefit from the horrific depopulation of an area, and profits from the sales of weapons used to do it? Is genocide good for corporate profit? Is that why sponsors who claim to seek safe and humane conditions for everyone, turn around and endanger the same people they claim interest in helping, by aiding their oppressors, and attackers? Do these corporations listed below find the stolen lives of children an acceptable reality because profit margins are their bottom line?
We're curious about that.
Because many of us have written to corporate sponsors about the Genocide Olympics but the sponsors seem content to avoid raising any issues about the conditions in Darfur, despite our letters.
And... we're curious about something else. Do these corporations consider Tibetan Nuns to be human, too? Do they share the same human and spiritual rights as say... middle and upper class Americans, or even some Americans living at or below poverty level? I mean... in the recent protest of 76 nuns calling for the return of the Dalai Lama on May 14th, 19 of the nuns went missing, while 54 were arrested.
Feel free to write to any of them and ask them if you're also as curious as we.
These are the names of the corporations supporting the Genocide Olympics.
Johnson & Johnson
Send them all the same letter if inclined:
Download the May 2008 ebook here:
crossposted at UU
Friday, May 23, 2008
Earlier this month Japan pledged to extend $200 million in aid for Sudan in the next four years.
Tokyo is eager to take part in U.N. operations in Sudan in an effort to back up its long-running ambition to win a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Resource-poor Japan, which hosts a conference of 45 African nations next week, wants to play a higher-profile role in the resource-rich region ahead of the G8 summit on the northern island of Hokkaido in July.
"Apart from a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council, Japan must look at what other countries, particularly China and India, are doing in Africa now," the second official said. "Unless we do something, we will certainly be left behind."
As part of its effort to win the hearts and minds of Africans, Japan announced on Tuesday a plan to double annual foreign aid to Africa by 2012 despite budget constraints caused by the country's bulging public debt.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Researchers have found a solution to prevent Darfuri women from being raped while foraging outside of the borders of refugee camps for Firewood. Normally Darfuri woman have to leave the camps daily to search for firewood, walking 7 hours outside of the safety provided by the camps, which has put them at great risk of violent attack. The Darfur Stove project has a new design for a woodburning stove reduces this risk.
Read more in the pdf and through the Darfur Stoves project site
Cheaper Safer Fuel for Refugees:
Watch this Pbs show to learn more:
Thankyou Cooper for the Intel and for sharing your valuable voice with us so we can learn and remain informed. You're greatly appreciated.
This is a beautiful and necessary solution. It lends alot of hope. I look forward to the introduction of solar panels to re-developing countries, which would eliminate the need to collect firewood for these stoves, altogether.
Crossposted at UU
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The human rights situation in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) has grown significantly worse since a rebel attack on Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, in late January 2008. But widespread human rights violations in Chad and CAR, including the targeting of opposition leaders, journalists and human rights defenders in Chad, and kidnappings of civilians—including children—in CAR, are long-standing and pervasive.
Please Sign this Petition
Friday, May 9, 2008
Hunger Crisis Comes Home
On Saturday, May 10, there will be a National Food Drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers has taken the initiative to end hunger in the world, beginning in our own backyard.
There are 7 million people in America that need food assistance. Over 20 million people need Food Stamps each month in over to survive; but in 2002, more than 16 % were turned away. Some 35 million people, today, risks falling into a state of hunger.
With Mother's Day on Sunday, May 11, it is time to think to poor struggling mothers who are squeezing their week food budget, trying to feed their children, in the face of rising food prices. Working mothers are doubly hurt by the escalating cost of food and rising gas prices.
With no end in sight of this global crisis, it is time to start feeding those who cannot feed themselves. Millions of children are going hungry everyday without notice. Most receive their only food through local public school breakfast and lunch assistance programs. But what happens when school is out?
Give a Mother's Day struggling mother a little help. When the postman shows up on your doorstep this Saturday and hands you a plastic bag, please fill the bag with food items.
[For more information, link to http://www.helpstampouthunger.com/]
[Give Food, Donations, or Volunteer through the Tarrant Area Food Bank link to http://www.tafb.org/]
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Danielle found an important article that imparts needed food for thought with a focus not often given attention in articles covering the crisis in Darfur. It is still as relevant today as when it was written. Please take the time to visit Scheme Mag and read:
Darfur: In Living Color by Zaynab Aden
Monday, May 5, 2008
Roots Of Humanity is accepting Ebook submissions.
They may include:
Relevant interviews and editorial
Art (including relevant literary art)
All works should focus on areas that require a remembrance of Humanity
including our primary focus of Darfur|Tibet.
Send them to: RootsofHumanity@gmail.com
Or to the contributors in the sidebar
Thankyou for your consideration.
The pen is most certainly mightier than the sword.