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Common Experience highlights the tragedy in Darfur

By Marc Speir
University News Service
March 27, 2007


The Common Experience program at Texas State University-San Marcos will be hosting two events promoting the awareness on campus about the genocide occurring in the Darfur region of western Sudan, on April 3 and 4. Both events are open to the public.

The protest and dissent discussion series will showcase a free event for a speech titled, “Speaking out about the Darfur Genocide,” on Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center teaching theater.

Caesar Ricci, member of the Interfaith Darfur Coalition, will recount his personal experiences in Darfur refugee camps and address the political complexities and climate of the situation.

There will also be a fast to stop the genocide in Darfur all day on Wednesday, April 4. The Texas State community is encouraged to give up at least one luxury item like coffee, soda or candy and donate that money towards health initiatives in the region.

Donation tables will be set up throughout campus all day and the proceeds will go to the International Medical Corps in Darfur.

Since 2003, the Sudanese government has been alleged of supporting an ethnic cleansing campaign in Darfur. According to the United Nations, the death toll in Darfur exceeds 200,000, while more than 2 million have been driven from their homes including 86,000 this year.

More than 200,000 have crossed the border to neighboring Chad, greatly straining the resources of the region due to the massive migration. Thousands die each month from the effects of inadequate food, water, health care and shelter in a harsh desert environment.

Officials from the U.N. have expressed their anger over the situation, but also demonstrated their unwillingness to fully occupy Darfur numerous times in the last four years. The Sudanese regime’s oil-fueled economic boom has kept nations like China on their side and the nation’s large supply of arms has left other countries fearful of repercussion.

U.N. leaders also cite the resistance of U.N. Security Council member China to sanctions, the unwillingness of Arab and other Islamic governments to support steps against the regime of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the difficulty of military operations in an area the size of France.

For more information on getting involved, contact Laura Jamison via email at Lj1040@txstate.edu.