Thursday, August 31, 2006

Preventable Deaths

Unfortunately much of the African nations' histories can be summed up as being dominated by -- slavery, colonization, being pawns in the Cold War, civil wars, poverty, dictators, apartheid, and genocide -- now that is a rather troubling list of problems which clearly would harm tourism efforts :-) As an American I must pause to count my blessings since for the most part American citizens have avoided many of these problems although we have had our own version of apartheid via the Jim Crow laws and course the US Civil War was devastating.

As regular Space Beagle readers know I have written on the genocide in Rwanda where an estimated 1 million people died in about 3 months of killing while the rest of the world essentially sat in silence. Rwanda is at peace today but the disease that is genocide has re-appeared along the border between Chad and Sudan in a region known as Darfur.

To help spread the word to others I have copied below -- giving full credit to the original author -- an overview of the situation written by Bob Drury at Men's Health magazine, :


When did it begin? February 2003
Who started it? The Janjaweed, a militia group made up of Arab Bedouin herders who settled in the region in the Middle Ages. The Sudanese government has quietly sponsored their attacks.

Who are they fighting? The indigenous non-Arab, non-Bedouin people, who are mostly farmers.

Is this a religious war? No. Both groups are Muslim. The conflict is over land and the few natural resources in the region.

How many people have died? About 400,000, says the Coalition for International Justice -- 200,000 in the conflict and the rest by disease or starvation. Two million others have been displaced from their homes.

Perhaps my little monkey brain is oversimplifying this situation but I really believe that these deaths could be prevented via a cultural and legal respect for property rights. For more information on the concept of property rights please visit my friends at:

Let people live,


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