Sudan

Bellamy highlights Darfur crisis on ABC news

June 20, 2004 - Tonight we begin a new series, in the Sunday Spotlight, which will focus on stories that don't often get reported. Tonight the crisis in Sudan. This past week the UN said the world may have to intervene to save the more than one million people, many of them children, being starved or killed in ethnic warfare in the country's western Darfur region. UNICEF's executive director Carol Bellamy has just returned from there.

BOB WOODRUFF
The joyful greeting which welcomed Carol Bellamy last week was in sharp contrast to the reality of life there.

CAROL BELLAMY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, UNICEF
This is a very huge crisis and it's getting bigger. We need human rights monitors in there, and we need food and shelter and water. You're talking about land the size of France. You're talking about over a million people who have been on the move. And the worst worry I think of all of us is that the rains are about to start. That's only going to create the possibility of more outbreak of disease, terrible diarrhea. And secondly malaria. For pregnant women and small children, malaria is devastating.

BOB WOODRUFF
Bellamy saw mostly women in the refugee camps. They told her the men had been killed.

CAROL BELLAMY
I saw fear in the eyes as well, and heard fear in the voices of the women. And these women are strong women but they were afraid. Conflicts today are very much, how, not how do I fight another military? It's how do I most hurt the people I'm trying to hurt? And so rape is used over and over and over and it's younger and younger women.

BOB WOODRUFF
This woman tells Bellamy how she defended herself and her daughter before fleeing her village. At times, Bellamy is clearly frustrated with the government officials who are supposed to be handling the crisis.

CAROL BELLAMY
You just took me to see a lot of kids in school. So my question is, where are those kids getting water?

CAROL BELLAMY
In my meeting with the president of Sudan, the government said to me, well, we hope people will go back to their villages. But that is, in our view, totally unrealistic right now because the villages are not there to go back to. Most of them have been burned.

BOB WOODRUFF
This is what much of western Sudan looks like now, empty, abandoned, burned. "They burned our houses," this woman says. "There were so many dead bodies, I couldn't count them." These are rare pictures of the Arab militias doing the burning and the killing. It's an ethnic fight between Arab nomads and black African farmers over resources, land and, especially, water.

CAROL BELLAMY
They keep their water in big clay jars, and you saw where many of the jars had been broken so it couldn't be used.

BOB WOODRUFF
Some are calling it genocide.

SUDAN RESIDENT, MALE
They killed only the black people.

BOB WOODRUFF
And there are accusations that Sudan's government and its army are backing the Arab militias. This boy's mother walked for ten days, with no food, to reach a refugee camp.

CAROL BELLAMY
The fact is people, usually the more vulnerable, which means children, are going to die. The international community is now really gearing up. Food is coming in. Medicines are coming in. One of the things that we've put in are some very, very simple classrooms for kids to go to school. This is very important because the best thing you can do for a child in a traumatic situation such as these children are in is give them a little bit of normalcy.

©2004 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
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20 June 2004: UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy speaks about crisis in Sudan on ABC World News.

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