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Letter to the editor

Humanitarian relief needed

October 20, 2006

I am reminded of the words to a rock song by Midnight Oil a few years ago: “How can we dance when our earth is turning… how do we sleep while our beds are burning?” In other words, how could the world dance while the Holocaust took place? (Remember the scene from Schindler’s List?) And how could we sleep while the genocide in Rwanda took place?

And how can we sit by now while genocide is occurring in Darfur, Sudan? With hundreds of thousands of people already dead and 2.5 million more lives at ominous risk, how is it that the international community has not yet found a solution?

Perhaps it’s time for our country to act. And isn’t it time that our nation’s citizens take a stand? We must ask why there are not stronger efforts to negotiate with Sudan’s president in support of United Nations peacekeeping troops. And why are there no concerted efforts to increase funding and resources for the understaffed and underfunded African Union peace force already in Sudan, as well as an expanded mandate for their efforts? It seems this may be an acceptable solution for all parties.

Finally, why is there inadequate humanitarian relief in the area?

The United Nations refers to Darfur as potentially the greatest humanitarian crisis ever. Let’s not sit by while this genocide unfolds. To contact President Bush and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, go to www.savedarfur.com. To contact our legislators, go to www.senate.gov and www.house.gov.

The conscience of our nation cannot tolerate a repeat of Rwanda.

Jackie Brux
Professor of economics