April 11, 2007

Darfur Burning

The Google Earth maps of Darfur have become an iconic representation of the scope of the devastation of life and property in the Darfur region of the Sudan.

... In partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Google has published new, high-resolution aerial photographs of the area, showing destroyed villages, displaced people and refugee camps. In some places, the resolution is high enough to show the burnt ruins of individual houses. ...

In somewhat heartening news, China has started pressing the Sudanese to take action. As the article notes, China buys much of Sudan's oil and wields significant influence within the country. The Sudanese government reportedly agreed to a second phase of the UN peacekeeping mission that they'd previously dismissed. And really, the president of Sudan has long denied the existence of serious problems in Darfur, certainly up until just last month:

... Shown a picture of a State Department map depicting burned villages in Sudan's vast western region during an NBC News interview in Khartoum, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir called it a "fabrication."

"Yes, there have been villages burned, but not to the extent you are talking about," Bashir said.

"People have been killed because there is war. It is not in the Sudanese culture or people of Darfur to rape. It doesn't exist. We don't have it." ...

In other news, Catholics never commit suicide. Christians never have sex outside marriage. Mormons never consume caffeine. Muslim lips never touch alcohol. None of these things have ever happened, it's just against their culture. Doesn't exist.

Tell me another one.

Posted by natasha at April 11, 2007 11:41 AM | International | Technorati links |

Oh and don't forget, Google Maps tells administration lies -- there never was a Katrina, New Orleans looks just the way it did in July of 2005. Really. Trust them.

Posted by: Scorpio at April 12, 2007 12:46 PM

They did say that was an error, apparently they've put it right. I wouldn't say that it speaks well for them, but would hesitate at this point to put it down to more than a mistake.

Posted by: natasha at April 12, 2007 07:54 PM