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July 11th, 2011
Heart of Darfur
Introduction

“A compelling account of the deadly conflict in western Sudan”
–United Features Syndicate

Read the latest news on the crisis in Darfur.

ABOUT THE ISSUE

In the half-century since Sudan was granted independence from colonial rule, the country has been in a chronic state of civil war. Most of the fighting has been between the Arab-controlled central government in Khartoum and rebels in the predominantly Christian and animist south. But in 2003, rebels in the Darfur region of western Sudan — a predominantly black, Muslim area — rose up against the central government, angered by the economic and political marginalization of their region.

In response, government-backed militias known as the janjaweed began a “scorched earth” campaign — riding on horseback, the janjaweed looted shops, raped women, and burned entire villages to the ground. Five years later, United Nations officials estimate that as many as 300,000 people may have been killed, and more than 2.5 million have been displaced.

ABOUT THE FILM

The film Heart of Darfur captures the desperation of daily life in remote villages, crowded refugee camps and in El Fasher, the once sleepy capital of North Darfur that is now home to 100,000 refugees and 10,000 U.N. personnel.

Mohammed SiddigHeart of Darfur takes a look at the people and places affected by the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Our cameras follow the people working to bring an end to the conflict and suffering, such as Mohamed Siddig Suliman, a Darfuri aid worker who has been working in the region for more than 20 years. We travel into the expanding Sahara desert with Siddig, where, he explains, three decades of drought conditions have led to fighting over scarce resources—one of the root causes of the conflict in Darfur.

General Martin AgwaiWe also meet General Martin Luther Agwai, the former head of the Nigerian Armed Forces, who now leads UNAMID, the joint U.N./African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur. The film follows Gen. Agwai as he helicopters into hostile areas to meet with leaders of various rebel factions. We learn that he is concerned about the fragmentation of the rebel groups, the logistics of UNAMID’s deployment, the expectations on the mission, and the limits of his power. Still, Gen. Agwai manages to have a positive outlook.

“It is in our culture in Africa that everywhere we are our brothers’ keepers,” he says.

  • Randall Moran

    When will the full episode be posted on this site, please?

  • Sudani

    The issue of Darfour is not that big but, the media and the orgnization make look bad so they can befit from it , for example they say there is over 100,000 has been killed , can they show at least 1,000 bodys do they know how many miles those bodies can coverd
    it is simller to what they been saying about Iraq and it became out it is all lies and now American are killing more than what they acuiesed Saddam
    and i can bid any one tell me who is the Arab or who is the Africans, do any one of you know why they call them Arab ? because they only speack Arabic
    do they look like Arabs ? No they do not .
    ….tbc

  • Laurie Macdonald

    How can I get a copy of this programme?

  • Dhalia

    Please base your opinions on facts. Almost ever Iraqi family I know (and I know many) have at least one member of ther family who was killed, emprisoned, or torture by that bloody dictator Saddam (and you never hear about this in the media). And why should the Darfur situation be less UNDER-REPRESESNTED than that? It’s NOT an ARAB or NON-ARAB thing there is corruption everywhere in the world. The Sudanese government does not as much power as the US or Israel to reperess the voices criticising it’s opressive power. Sharon and Bush deserve as much punishment as Omar Bashir.

  • It is very sad

    It is very sad that we as humans can be so cruel. The goverments whoever they are. Who do nothing or as little as possible to stop this from happening in Darfur is just as guilty as the hand that murdered these people. The blood of these people are on the goverments hands. Truthfully, If the world goverments allow this to continue, you are no different than Hitler. You’re just hiding behind your neutrality.

  • Paula Woodley, RN BSN

    I applaud PBS for airing this documentary “Heart of Sudan” and I thank you, Aaron Brown, for debuting it.
    New York Times, Journalist, Nick Kristof gets to the grass roots, of this genocide. As a Nurse, working for the UNITED NATIONS,UNIES this touches my heart, and reflects how we must continuously educate and take interest in the lives of human beings around the world, and stand together to resolve this tragedy. I am proud to see how the “United States of America”, has been the biggest donator of food to the refugees in Darfur. I certainly hope there will be a sequel on this! For – United we Stand, Divided we Fall…..

  • Om

    Are people this ignorant as to continue to differentiate Sudanese people as “Arabs” and “Africans”? The last time I checked, a black person is NOT an Arab, so because the Northern folk speak Arabic as their primary language, which by the way goes the same for the entire Darfuris, what is this obsession about categorizing one people into two, distinct ethnicities?

    There are only black Africans living in Sudan, and they all speak Arabic as their primary language (not including the South), so stop being so dumb people!

  • Freddie

    honestly i think we should put sanctions on china so they cant get oil from darfur thus allowing us to get into Darfur, also i know how we get a lot of our products from china but china is so big it will coolaspe with out resoures from other countrys so we will only have to go a little while with out supplies from chia

  • Paula Woodley UNITED NATIONS NURSE

    Paula Woodley, RN BSN Says:

    I applaud PBS for airing this documentary “Heart of Sudan” I thank you, Aaron Brown, for debuting it.
    New York Times, Journalist, Nick Kristof gets to the grass roots, of this genocide. As a Nurse, working for the UNITED NATIONS,UNIES this touches my heart, and reflects how we must continuously educate and take interest in the lives of human beings around the world, and stand together to resolve this tragedy. I am proud to see how the “United States of America”, has been the biggest donator of food to the refugees in Darfur. I hope there will be a sequel on this! For – “United we Stand, Divided we Fall”

  • P.Sara

    What is the email address or phone number of Khalid Mohamed President of Darfur Association in Medicine Hat?

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