- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2001

There are Americans who dont know the names of their own representatives in Washington, but they are likely to have often heard of house Majority Leader Dick Armey and the powerful and voluble congressman from Harlem, Charles Rangel. On most issues, the two are in combative disagreement, but on March 22, they held a joint press conference about slavery in Sudan, along with congressional colleagues, Reps. Frank Wolf, Donald Payne, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jo Ann Davis, and Tom Tancredo.
Mr. Armey stated: "Sudan today is a horror without parallel. It is the only place in the world in which religious genocide is taking place. People are being tortured, mutilated and killed solely because of their Christian faith. It is a place where two million people have been slaughtered more than in Bosnia, Rwanda and Somalia combined."
Said Mr. Rangel, "In the Sudan, the world is faced with a human-rights nightmare of the first order. We have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility, to use our international leadership to help end the civil war and the heartbreaking enslavement of women and children, which has intensified as a result of the hostilities."
One would think there would have been considerable press coverage of such passionate denunciations of the Islamic government in northern Sudan, the source of these horrors. But there was only slight attention in the media, although many other statements by Messrs. Armey and Rangel are reported regularly.
On March 7, at an International Relations Committee hearing in Congress, Rep. Tom Tancredo asked Secretary of State Colin Powell about slavery, the bombing of schools and hospitals, and other atrocities in Sudan.
Mr. Powell responded, "I do know there is no greater tragedy on the face of the Earth than the one unfolding in Sudan."
One would think that so anguished a statement by the much-respected Colin Powell would be significant news; but have you seen any commentary on it, or any serious mention at all, in newspapers, or on television or radio?
On April 3, at a session of the Joint Subcommittee on International Operations, Human Rights and Africa, Rep. Cynthia McKinney spoke of the government of Sudans forced removal of black Christians and animists in the South from rich oil fields; the investments of foreign companies in the oil fields; and the way the National Islamic Front uses the proceeds from the investments to intensify its terrorism against civilians on these lands.
"Clear evidence now exists," said Miss McKinney, "of massive forced displacement; aerial bombardments; low-level strafing of villages, hospitals, schools and churches from helicopter gunships armed with heavy machine guns; and thousands of individual acts of murder, torture and rape. The violence against women has been particularly brutal and includes allegations that women have been raped and their infants nailed to trees with spikes." Have you seen news stories on her testimony?
I have heard from Charles Jacobs, head of the American Anti-Slavery Group, who recently went to Sudan on a fact-finding trip. He was told by the interviewer of a rescued black woman whose babys throat was slit by an Arab raider. The raider then cut the toddlers head off. The mother, after being raped, was forced to carry the head of her child on the march north, and eventually was ordered to throw the childs head into a fire.
That story is not surprising in view of the testimony of the many rescued black slaves who have endured gang rape and other forms of brutality. What are the reactions of American feminist leaders to what is happening to women in Sudan?
Again, where is the American presss coverage of Rep. Cynthia McKinneys factually precise testimony? Where are Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw? Except for a few limited media reports, the terrifying facts on the Sudanese ground have not been told to Americans.
When she was secretary of state, Madeleine Albright said that the atrocities in Sudan are "not marketable to the American people." But how can the American people know about this holocaust unless the press reports on it regularly and in horrifying detail? Perhaps now the Rev. Al Sharptons first-person accounts of slavery in Sudan will awaken the media.


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