Editor's Note: Guest blogger Jimmy Mulla reflects on the 10 year anniversary of the conflict in Darfur through the perspective of a friend from just one of the many villages destroyed there by a government-sponsored campaign of violence.
Yesterday, February 27, 2013, may have seemed like an ordinary day. To the people of Tina, a village in Sudan’s Western region of Darfur, it’s a really sad day, recalled Hawa Abdalla when I spoke to her on the phone yesterday morning. Hawa told me how sad and difficult the day had been for her.
Ten years ago, on February 27, 2003, Hawa lost many of her family members and relatives when Sudan Armed forces attacked the village of Tina, killing innocent civilians and destroying the village.
This year, February marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the conflict in Darfur. In 2003, the Sudanese government forces attacked rebel forces in the Darfur region; they also targeted the civilian population.
In 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that genocide had been committed in Darfur, “and may still be occurring.” Today, the genocide not only continues in Darfur, but is also being carried out in the regions of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.
The states of Southern Kordofan (Nuba Mountains) and Blue Nile are experiencing unprecedented levels of violence, which have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people internally. Some have been forced to refugee camps in South Sudan, Ethiopia, and other neighboring countries.
Hawa Abdalla, a 2012 U.S. State Department International Women of Courage award winner, is appealing to the United States government, the American public, and peace-loving people around the world to bring an end to the conflict in Darfur and other troubled regions of Sudan.
Please remember Hawa and many of the victims of the conflict in your prayers.
Jimmy Mulla is president and co-founder of the advocacy group Voices for Sudan.