Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Worst Thing I Saw Came Last December

The Brian Steidle Eye Witness Account of Darfur :

The worst thing I saw came last December, when Labado, a village of 20,000 people, was burned to the ground. We rushed there after a rebel group contacted us, and we arrived while the attack was still in progress. At the edge of the village, I found a Sudanese general who explained why he was doing nothing to stop the looting and burning. He said his job was to protect civilians and keep the road open to commercial traffic and denied that his men were participating in the attack. Then a group of uniformed men drove by in a Toyota Land Cruiser. The general said they were just going to get water, but they stopped about 75 yards away, jumped out, looted a hut and burned it. The attacks continued for a week. We have no idea how many people died there but tribal leaders later said close to 100 were missing.

Note: Brian Steidle, a former U.S. Marine, was a member of the African Union team monitoring the conflict in Darfur, where he took hundreds of photographs documenting atrocities.

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