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The plight of the people of Sudan

What a world we live in.    Violence is seemingly everywhere, Governments are running amok with power, the divide between the haves and have-nots grows ever bigger and some countries teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.    And then there is the plight of peoples like those in Sudan - mainly out of the media and ignored by politicians around the world.      Nicholas D Kristof, writing in The New York Times, brings it right before our eyes.

"Perhaps hundreds of thousands of people here have no food and are reduced to eating leaves and insects, as Sudan’s government starves and bombs its own people in the Nuba Mountains. Children are beginning to die.

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"This week will mark a year since Sudan began its brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the Nuba Mountains, intended to crush a rebel force that is popular here and controls much of the region. Sudan has expelled aid workers, blocked food shipments and humanitarian aid, and dropped bombs haphazardly — and almost daily — on its own citizens.

Sudan bars outsiders, but I sneaked in from South Sudan on a dirt track controlled by rebels. Since my last visit, in February, the situation in these areas has deteriorated sharply: a large share of families have run completely out of food, with no prospect of more until the next harvest in November.

Ryan Boyette, an American aid worker who stayed behind when foreigners were ordered to evacuate, estimates that 800,000 Nuba have run out of food in South Kordofan, the state encompassing the Nuba Mountains. Boyette has created a local reporting network called Eyes and Ears Nuba, and the Sudanese government showed what it thinks of him when it tried to drop six bombs on his house last month. The notoriously inaccurate bombs missed, and he escaped unhurt in his foxhole."

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"World leaders are mostly turning a blind eye. There isn’t even serious talk about damaging the military airstrips that Sudan’s warplanes take off from before dropping bombs on civilians, or about forcing a humanitarian corridor, or about arranging airdrops of food. As a result, the only certainty is that many Nuba will starve to death in the coming months.

President Obama, you harshly criticized President Bush for failing to stand up to Sudan’s slaughter in Darfur. So now what are you going to do as Sudan kills again — on your watch?"

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