Darfuris in the US Increase Efforts to End the Genocide in Sudan
Speakers & Interviews Available
PORTLAND, Maine - Members of the Fur Cultural Revival, a US organization working to end the genocide in Darfur, announce a new nationwide speaking tour. The Fur Cultural Revival (FCR) is a non-profit organization consisting of survivors from the Fur tribe who now live in the US. The Fur tribe are primarily from Western Sudan and have been targeted by both Janjaweed militia and Sudanese government forces. Their headquarters is based in Portland, Maine.
El-Fadel Arbab, a 25 year old speaker and educator with the FCR, stated, "Since I came to the US four years ago, I began talking to new friends here who would ask me ‘Where is Darfur- is it in Canada?' I feel that there is so little knowledge about the situation on the ground in Sudan, but once people in the US begin to know, they want to help." At the age of 12, El-Fadel's village in Darfur was attacked by both the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed militia, severely injuring him and separating him from his family. During the next decade, El-Fadel struggled to survive on his own. He eventually reunited with some family members in Egypt, and they made their way as refugees to the United States. However, many close family members, including his father and brothers, have been displaced or disappeared. "Since we have arrived here, my mother cannot sleep during the night. She watches over me and keeps watch out the window, fearing that the same people who killed our family and friends will kill us. She is traumatized by her experiences."
The FCR is currently accepting invitations for speaking events and presentations throughout the country in the hopes that increased pressure will encourage President Obama to fulfill his promise not to ‘abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter' in Sudan. US policy under the Bush administration had been criticized for being soft on the government in Sudan, leading many to question if the US was trading intelligence for the war on terror at the expense of hundreds of thousands of Darfuris' lives.
"When I go to speak to students in high schools, they share with me a desire for peace and a resolution to this conflict. When they hear my story, they know that it is only one of thousands, and each affects so many innocent bystanders and children," El-Fadel stated. "Obama's election proved that young people in this country have the power to create a new and brighter future for both themselves and for the people of Sudan."
The primary targets of the US recognized genocide are members of the Fur, Zaghawa, and Massalit tribes. Immediate action is needed by the international community to prevent the ongoing bombing and burning of villages, the looting of economic resources, and crimes against humanity, including the murder, rape, and torture of innocent civilians. More than 400,000 people have been killed, and 2.5 million displaced. An international peacekeeping force has been authorized and partially deployed, but is under-equipped, under-funded, and short-staffed.