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April 11, 2007

The Sad Story of Darfur in Google Earth

"Girl with traumatized baby sister. The baby has not made a sound since the day their parents were slaughtered and the village burned."

When you hear about sad stories from far away, they rarely touch you. It's hard to be impressed by the sufferance of someone who doesn't have too much in common with you.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum presents in a Google Earth layer the consequences of a conflict from Darfur, a region situated in Sudan.

BBC tells the story:
Sudan's government and the pro-government Arab militias are accused of war crimes against the region's black African population, although the UN has stopped short of calling it genocide. (...)

The conflict began in the arid and impoverished region early in 2003 after a rebel group began attacking government targets, saying the region was being neglected by Khartoum. The rebels say the government is oppressing black Africans in favour of Arabs. (...)

[The government] admits mobilising "self-defence militias" following rebel attacks but denies any links to the Janjaweed, accused of trying to "cleanse" black Africans from large swathes of territory. Refugees from Darfur say that following air raids by government aircraft, the Janjaweed ride into villages on horses and camels, slaughtering men, raping women and stealing whatever they can find.

"I was living with my family in Tawila and going to school when one day the Janjaweed entered the town and attacked the school. We tried to leave the school but we heard noises of bombing in the town and started running in all directions. All the girls were scared. The Janjaweed entered the school and caught some girls and raped them in the class rooms. I was raped by four men inside the school. When they left they told us they would take care of all of us black people and clean Darfur for good."

The refugees, their destroyed villages and a disturbing story - in a Google Earth layer (requires Google Earth, obviously).


  1. I have been following this blog quite some time..

    are you paid for this thing? you sometimes write really useful.. and sometimes really absurd things.. I feel like you dont eat, you dont drink.. you dont work.. you dont study... and its all you do..
    and maybe is google is paying you under cover.. is it the case?

  2. yes google secretly pays us our wages to sit here and stare at computers. However you aren't paid to do this, but you choose to do it anyway; wasting your life away. So stop being a hopeless nerd and go ride a bike or something

  3. I read it and I'm that much more educated, thanks.

  4. this is an extremly sad thing.why won't anyone help?

  5. This is RIDICULOUS! When I hear this kind of thing it hurts because I'm actually in a organization to help stop this and help the people hurting. =[ It makes me upset.

    Annapolis High School
    Help Darfur Now

  6. ya this is totally ridiculous. i luv pres obama and he should do something to help. oh and the indian slums. Slumdog millionaire rocks!

  7. wow this makes me really sad you know times are somewhat bad here to but not as nerly as bad as it is there so I cant donate but............. I want to............i'll see what i can do

  8. Why can't people just look at each other and love them the way they are? DOES IT MATTER WHAT RACE, GENDER, RELIGION, ETC. YOU ARE? NO! GOD MADE US ALL! How can you take away the gift of their life?

  9. This is great, I will use this story as a start off in my debate on why the U.N. should not be abolished, they are trying, and if it is just a matter on why it took so long, one thing to say is Darfur isn't even letting them in.
    That Slumdog Millionare comment had me rolling, that persons an idiot. Really.

  10. this is desgusting! The UN is not doing enough in this situation!