Foreign Policy Blogs

The Children of Sudan

On Sunday, April 29, 2007, in 35 cities around the world, including London, Rome, Melbourne and DC, demonstrations where held to bring awareness to the victims of the conflict that is raging in Sudan's, Darfur region. The Global Day for Darfur was organized by various human rights and humanitarian groups, such as Amnesty International. For one week, April 23rd – 30th, in the US alone there are more than 300-400 events promoting the unquestionable needs for millions of men, woman and children who's voices have gone unheard for two long.

On Sunday I joined one such group of dedicated souls gathered in Washington DC, where the objective was to tell President Bush that, "Time is Running Out!”. The group of concerned citizens where led by Amnesty International and Save Darfur, and spoke about how we must get UN peace Keepers in Darfur now, call on the U.S. government to act now, and work towards a timeline for funding and getting peace keeping troops in Darfur and neighboring Chad.

Sudan is a country wedged between the horn of Africa and the Middle East, comprising of a majority of Muslims. Sudan has been in and out of embroiled conflict since the 1800's, after more than 30 years of fighting independence was granted in 1956. However Sudan then had two civil wars, the first of which began in 1955, a year before official independence, and ended in 1972. The second civil war, which was really just a continuation, began in 1983 and did not officially end until an agreement was signed in 2005. However in 2003 trouble broke out in force again for the nation, in what has turned into a full scale genocide, that looks to have no end in sight. Sudan's civil war is one of the longest and deadliest in history and we cannot allow Sudan's genocide to be the same!


The Janjaweed, which in Arabic translates to mean “devils on horseback”, are composed of nomadic Arabic speaking tribes. The Janjaweed are black or African Arabs, who are a nomadic people, who have been attacking the non-Bedouin tribes of the Darfur region since 2003. Unfortunately the fighting has not ceased, and has only escalated since 2003, hitting a high point in 2006. The Arab led government of Sudan, of course takes no claim to the violence, and we see little action that they are looking to end this tragedy anytime soon.

Villages burned, men assassinated, woman and girl raped, children left parentless and hungry, physical mutilations and forced amputationsit all sounds to horrid to be true, but it is a continuing nightmare for millions. Try to imagine yourself as one of the millions of survivors living in fear of recurring attacks, fear their will be no food or water, fear that they will never go home again, fear of eminent death.

In the expose, Darfur Drawn: Children's Images of Sudan, Spiegel Magazine shows drawings, like the one below, by children who witnessed these violent and senseless acts.


Almost half a million lives have been lost, and another two and a half million forced to live as refugees, mainly in bordering Chad. Millions more are forced to depend on international aid to survive, but for how long? We the international community have allowed this conflict to grow and spread, as we have sat idly by for too long. Did we not learn from our mistakes in Rwanda? Can we let millions continue to go hungry, live in disease and poverty, can we sit back and watch them die? The media was relatively good at covering the crisis when the conflict first came to head, however the only reason it gets press today is through the undaunted efforts of those in the west who continue to see that their voices are heard. It all starts with one voice and it is making a difference, but me must get our governments to act, we must make the voices of those who cannot be heard louder and clearer to everyone. We must act now, as time is running out and there are millions of lives must be saved.

Globe for Darfur
Save Darfur
Amnesty International – Darfur
Genocide in Darfur
Passion of the Present – Blog on Sudan – Has great links
Sudan Watch – Blog
Instant Karma – CD with proceeds to Darfur



Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict