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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor #1

Published: November 18, 2005
Section: Opinions

To the Editor:
Over two years ago, groups in this relatively resource-stricken region of the African nation of Sudan took up arms against the ruling government to the east. The rebels asked for a greater role in the national government and a fairer distribution of resources in the country. Instead, they received mass murder, pillaging, and rape. The Sudanese government unleashed on Darfur vicious, state-armed militias, the worst of which called themselves the Janjaweed. As had occurred often in a separate conflict between northern and southern Sudan, the targets of the attacks were primarily disinterested and innocent civilians. Defenseless villages found themselves facing attack helicopters and regiments of blood-thirsty horsemen equipped with automatic weapons. The men were murdered and the women were raped repeatedly.

Although many months have passed since the international community learned of these events, they continue to this day. As one can imagine, the Darfurians ran for their lives. Hunger and disease invaded the region along side the Janjaweed. Over 400,000 men, women, and children have died as a result of the conflict and more than 2.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Some call these events genocide. But regardless of the name it goes by, Darfur remains one of the worst humanitarian situations on the planet.
STAND and dozens of other organizations are struggling to help the victims in Darfur. Tens of thousands of people have responded with millions of dollars. Thus far, STAND Brandeis has organized a candle-light vigil, educational and discussion-oriented events on campus, and a rally in Boston. We are working to push Brandeis and the state of Massachusetts to remove all of their investments from companies which operate in Sudan and fund the ongoing violence. There are people in Darfur that are still alive today due directly to the money we have raised. Female African Union troops funded by American donations are protecting Darfurian women from rape. And the U.S. government continues to receive hundreds of calls demanding further action in Sudan.

But there is so much more we can do. The situation is not black and white nor is the correct response clear. We cant figure this out alone. We need your ideas. We need your energy. We need your compassion. Dialogue on Darfur on this campus and around the world is integral toreaching a solution. Please write about Darfur to the Justice and the Hoot, to the Globe and CNN, to the White House and the State Department. Bring your ideas to a STAND meeting or our national conference at Harvard Dec. 2 through Dec. 4. Send your thoughts or questions to

You do not need to have the solution. None of us do. STAND can give you the resources and the knowledge. Darfur just needs your time and hope. Please help.

Sean Lewis-Faupel 08, VP of Regional Outreach, Brandeis STAND