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Joe Scarborough Headshot

Sudan Suffering in Silence

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It is hard to turn away. It is even harder to keep staring.

The daily images that stream out of Sudan are heartbreaking. The scale of suffering seems unprecedented.

But it is not.

This has happened in Africa before. A million Rwandan citizens were hacked to death in the mid-1990's.

But the United Nations did nothing.

A few years later, genocide struck the African continent again in Sudan.

That's right. The same Sudan that is once again in the grip of a brutally efficient killing machine.

The situation got so bad by 1997 that I worked together with human rights groups and former New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal to get the word out across America that millions were being persecuted.

Once again, the United Nations did nothing.

Reports out of Sudan eight years ago told of children as young as eight years old being crucified for their parents' beliefs. Other young boys and girls were sold into slavery for as little as $15.

Things became so bleak that the United Nations and the Clinton Administration did, well, nothing.

In fact, when I tried to pass a resolution through Congress calling for sanctions against the murderous regime, Clinton's State Department fought it with all their might.

The Congressional Black Caucus fell in line with the White House by refusing to endorse my Congressional act that condemned slavery in Sudan.

Can you imagine that?

We still hear many members of this caucus tying challenges in the African American communities to a system of slavery that ended 160 years ago but when faced with supporting the abolition of a slave system existing in their lifetime, they showed the moral courage of Thomas Jefferson.

Amnesty International was so concerned about the two million Sudanese victims that they did, well, nothing.

An Amnesty representative told me they could not support my bill because it concerned Christian persecution. They said they didn't take sides in such disputes.

Huh?

Fast forward eight years and you find that little has changed.

President Bush has called the crisis in Sudan genocide, but he has done little to stop it.

The United Nations has muttered about how the Sudan situation is unfortunate, but once again Kofi Annan has refused to do anything that will end the suffering on his home continent.

The European Union claims to be interested but too many member states have economic interests in the country.

So nothing gets done.

Meanwhile, children are slaughtered, young girls are raped, and entire communities are wiped out in minutes.

While the world does nothing.

How pathetic.