Monday, October 6, 2008
Who Killed the Suleia School Girls?
On July 3rd, 2004, three school girls, eight years old, were shackled in iron cuffs, lashed to trees and burned alive in Suleia. The frantic cries of their helpless parents could be heard throughout the town. Although arrest warrants have been issued on several persons in connection with the murders, no one has been arrested and who is ultimately accountable for such heinous acts is not entirely clear.
Suleia was once a peaceful town whose residents grew crops and tended their livestock. The crater at the highest point of the nearby mountains was a popular destination for tourists, who, until the attack, were the only foreigners usually seen in this area. But early that morning of July 3, while still dark, townspeople heard planes approach. Soon bombs rained down. Soon men in vehicles and on horseback arrived, looted the market, burned the homes and shot the men they could find. The women they raped. The school girls were burned alive to draw their parents from hiding, to terrorize the residents into leaving their land and, according to a few survivors, because they were “too dark.”
If you’re beginning to suspect these murders didn’t happen in America, you’re right. They occurred in the Darfur region of Sudan. But how many readers would have read this far if they’d known it was another story about that genocide against the black indigenous people of Darfur that seems to be dragging on for years?
Whether this occurred in Iowa or in the midst of an ethnic cleansing on the other side of the world, the question remains, who killed the Suleia school girls?
At times the answer can seem complex and unclear. Politics, religion, and ethnic cleansing. Oil. But what is clear is that genocide is evil and that the situation Darfur is the consequence of hatred for the black indigenous Africans and the greed for oil under their lands. What is clear is that three little girls don’t have a chance against global powers and businesses. What is clear is that not enough people care to make it stop and that we are all perpetrators and bystanders until it does stop. What is clear is that as a global community we are all responsible for the safety and lives of school girls everywhere.
You can do something. Let your voice be heard. Give one minute to the children of Darfur. We are a representative government. Log on to www.DarfurScores.org and see what your representative is doing. Send them a note if you are not happy with their performance or thank them if you are.