Guest post: College Basketball Powerhouses Come Together for Darfur
By: Sameer Padania, Posted: Jan 28 10
This Saturday US college basketball powerhouses Georgetown and Duke will face off in one of the most anticipated games of the season. While the two teams battle on the court, students and alumni from both universities will put aside their rivalry and come together to support the Darfur Dream Team’s Sister Schools Program, an initiative which links American middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities with sister schools in 12 refugee camps in eastern Chad.
The Darfur Dream Team was conceptualized following NBA star Tracy McGrady’s trip to Darfuri refugee camps in Chad with John Prendergast and Omer Ismail of the Enough Project. Their journey is chronicled in the documentary film 3 Points: Peace, Protection and Punishment. McGrady and Prendergast will attend the upcoming game to unveil a video announcing the Darfur Dream Team’s partnership with Georgetown and Duke. Students and alumni from the two universities have pledged to raise funds to support two Darfuri refugee camp schools.
Longtime rivals Georgetown and Duke will go head to head at Washington, D.C.’s Verizon Center this Saturday afternoon in one of college basketball’s most anticipated games of the season. But it’s a new partnership off the court – set to be announced by students and alumni at the game – that had Enough’s John Prendergast and Houston Rockets star Tracy McGrady clamoring for tickets.
categories: Darfur & Sudan, Obama Administration
Published January 20, 2010 @ 09:29AM PT
The deliberate obstruction of humanitarian aid is a tried and true tactic used by the Sudanese government to collectively punish millions of civilians caught in the middle of its conflicts with various rebel groups. They did it during the war with the south, and they continue to do it in Darfur.
But the tactic is a violation of international law, and it should get far, far more attention from international diplomats than it currently receives.
A new report out from the Enough Project and the Sudan Now campaign lists humanitarian access and freedom of movement to reach affected populations in Darfur, as well as an end to the systematic denial of services to victims of sexual violence, as a key benchmark that the Obama administration should use to gauge progress towards peace in Sudan -- "should," because the actual benchmarks have not been made public. And while the report includes many important reforms necessary for peace, many of which have been delayed or outright ignored by the government thus far, nothing is a better, more obvious indicator of the regime's -- and especially the ruling National Congress Party's -- intentions than the provision (or lack thereof) of humanitarian assistance to four million conflict-affected civilians. Read more.
In the past two weeks, media coverage of a UN report about the funding of rebel groups in the eastern Congo has highlighted the connection between the trade in minerals used to make laptops, cellphones and digital cameras, and the ongoing violence that has killed more than 5 million people.
Articles have appeared in theWall Street Journal, The New York Times, and elsewhere. A report on CBS's 60 Minutes last Sunday reported that the armed militias terrorizing civilians in eastern Congo are fighting for control of the area's wealth of minerals, such as gold, tin, tantalum (also known as "coltan"), and tungsten which can be used in a variety of electronic devices.
Unlike in the diamond industry, no formal certification process exists to ensure conflict-free gold. Earthworks hopes that the No Dirty Gold coalition will help fuel the creation of such a system that “assures consumers and retailers that the gold they are buying has been produced in ways that minimize harm to people or the environment.”
Tonight at the Hollywood Film Festival's Human Rights Symposium, Matt Smith will accept his award for submitting the winning video to YouTube's Video for Change program, "Come Clean 4 Congo," in partnership with the Enough Project. Back in May, we asked you to make videos demonstrating the connection between the "conflict minerals" used in cell phones and the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Matt's winning video, voted #1 by the YouTube community, used spoken word to take a far-away, complex issue and make it understandable and compelling.
When President Obama unveiled a new "carrot and stick" strategy for dealing with Sudan's murderous regime this week, he walked a thin line. There have been notes of cautious praise from aid groups, who applaud the administration's focus on ending the six-year war between Sudan's government in Khartoum and the Western rebels in Darfur. But there is also concern. Human rights groups and conservative editorial boards warn that engagement with Khartoum is futile unless the president backs up tough talk with real action. Commentators across the board criticize the administration's failure to make the genocide a top priority.
The group was pleased that the policy review was finally completed after such a long delay. The activists agreed that, on paper, it says the right things. The big question now is whether or not it will actually be implemented.
The Enough Project is an organization working to end the genocides and crimes against humanity occurring in Africa. Not only are they trying to spread the word of the horrors going on in those countries in Africa, but they are also trying to help prevent these atrocities from happening again. You can help them in their mission by educating yourself on the many conflicts going on in Africa because knowledge is power. You can also send letters to your politicians urging them to keep their promises and take action in Darfur. The Enough Project is tackling some difficult problems in Africa right now and you can help them. It's crucial we help our international neighbors in order to promote peace so please, go to their website and see how you can help.
I actually have a lot to discuss today regarding access to good material.
The main theme of this web-site is to promote interest in world affairs. One essential tool for achieving this is to expose relevant web-sites and good sources of information to our readers. Enough is one of those web-sites.
The Enough Project is a project that conducts research in areas of conflict in Africa. From Somalia, Sudan, to Uguanda, the organization provides access to strategy and research papers and general overviews of the conflicts that its researching team has conducted. It’s an excellent way to understand the conflicts in Africa and is a must read for anyone who has been curious or confused by what exactly is happening in the region.