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A Story of Destruction
The genocide in Darfur is a crisis that has taken place since February 2003. The crisis is located in the Darfur region of western Sudan. A government backed militia, the Janjaweed, have engaged in campaigns of wiping out communities of African tribal farmers. Known as ruthless human beings, the Janjaweed have no mercy. While participating in these campaigns, the militias have killed multiple families, raped innocent women and girls, murdered men and boys and have destroyed crops, surplus and animals. Along with the mass killings and tortures, victims have faced drought, desertification and overpopulation. Since the government backs the Janjaweed, they are supplied with trucks, ammunition and guns that have destroyed people and property. Over 400,000 victims have died due to this corrupt mass murdering. Although there are many organizations, coalitions and charities that try to stop the conflict in Darfur, the mass murdering and torture is still persistent. Here is the tragic story of Adebanke, a young Sudanese teenager.
It’s dawn and Adebanke was awoken by the clamor of shrilling screams, gunshots and roaring vehicles in her village. She quickly rose to her feet and saw that her village was in chaos. Women were screaming and calling for their children. Men, who were defenseless, were trying to fight off the armed Janjaweed militia, but were quickly defeated and killed. The elderly, unable to move, sat and prayed in their huts. More militia had come and had burned or killed everything in site that had made life possible for Adebanke and her village. Adebanke looked around and she saw her village in destruction. This was the village where she had lived her whole life. Adebanke could smell the smoke, flesh and annihilation all around her. Everything she used to love and cherish was gone. Homes were burned, livestock had been killed or stolen, and men of the Janjaweed had shot women and girls as they screamed from the pain of rape. The elderly had either been shot or burned alive since they were unable to abruptly move out of their huts. Most of men of the village were dead and their lifeless bodies were covered in pools of blood. The piercing cries of children and babies were quickly silenced as gunshots were fired at their innocent bodies. Adebanke fearfully looked around and saw that most of her family was dead. Her mother was dead, her grandparents were dead, her friends were dead and she quickly looked around to count to see which siblings were still alive. Out of the seven, only one had survived and had been shot badly. She quickly grabbed her brother and began to flee. In the mist of chaos, she ran holding her brother’s critical body in her arms. She then heard the frail words of her father saying,
“Run Adebanke, Run!”
But, his voice went silent as she heard a loud gunshot. Gunshots followed Adebanke as she quickly fled into the night. Bushes and trees sliced her legs as ran through the darkness. Fear and anxiety filled her head as she ran. She looked down and saw that she was covered in a blanket of her brother’s blood. She stopped running and rested his body on the desert ground.
“Chisulo!” she cried as she shook his body.
“Leave me,” he said.
“To leave you, I will not!” she cried.
“ I cannot go on,” he objected.
“ But, Chisulo you are strong as steel!” she wept.
“No! Adebanke, I am weak,” he whispered.
After Chisulo’s last objection, his soul went into the night. Having been shot in the kidney twice, Chisulo died. Tears formed in Adebanke’s chestnut eyes and she then fell down on her dark mahogany skin. She sat there, crying into the night and she asked God why this had happened to her, her family, and her village. Looking up to the sky, Adebanke wished that she were with her family again. The vivid night sky quickly turned into morning and Adebanke tried to give her brother a descent burial by covering his body with stones and dirt. She then thought to herself where would she go and what would she do. She flashbacked to a conversation between her parents about the refugee camps in Chad. Adebanke was determined and preserved to her challenge of reaching the refugee camps.
Hours turned into days, but Adebanke finally reached her destination. When she arrived at the camp, she was shocked. There were thousands of people huddled under tiny trees that were trying to seek refuge from the desert sun and wind. Many people were on the verge of death due to lack of water, food and healthcare. Adebanke saw the sadness, anger and frustration on the people’s faces. Adebanke walked around in bewilderment, but was motioned by a young man to come to him.
“Hello, I am Dakarai,” he said
“Hi, I am Adebanke,” she replied
Dakarai and Adebanke then exchanged their stories of horror and their accounts shared great similarity. Dakarai’s family, like Adebanke’s, had been killed in an attack in his village and all his loved ones were killed. Dakarai also said that his mother’s body was thrown in a well to poison it. He told Adebanke about the way of life at the camp. He mentioned that there was little security in the camp and that the Janjaweed sporadically came and attacked the refugees. Days passed and Adebanke was used to the daily routine at the refugee camp. However, she still longed for her family everyday.
Nightfall came and the refugees gathered under their trees and went to sleep. But their trances were abruptly awoken by the clamor of sounds that haunted Adebanke. It was the Janjaweed and they were attacking the refugee camp. Chaos was evident as gunshots rang out. Men, women, and children ran with their loved ones. Adebanke began to run, but was caught by a group of Janjaweed. Tears began to form in her eyes as she saw Dakarai’s lifeless body on the ground. A group of three men dragged Adebanke under a tree and began beating her. She cried aloud as she felt the punches penetrate her body. Suddenly, she felt the men “in” her and she cried louder. She tried to fight them off, but she could not. Her frail body was useless against fighting the massive men. She saw one of the men grab a gun from his pocket and instantly everything went black.
Adebanke died on December 6th 2004, in an attack by the Janjaweed against a powerless refugee camp. She was beaten, raped and shot by group of Janjaweed. Her story is an account that is shared by many in Darfur. Adebanke lost everything, her family, home, friends, strength, image, virginity and livelihood. The war in Darfur has no limits or mercy and has caused death, devastation and displacement on a massive scale. Death has become a way of life in Darfur. When the Janjaweed arrive in a village they kill everything in sight and they feel no guilt or pity for their actions. Darfur is a conflict that needs to be stopped and is something that people should not turn their heads away from.
But, Chisulo you are strong as steel!
The piercing cries of children and babies were quickly silenced as gunshots were fired at their innocent bodies.
Known as ruthless human beings, the Janjaweed have no mercy.
Having been shot in the kidney twice, Chisulo died.
Looking up to the sky, Adebanke wished that she were with her family again.
To leave you, I will not!
A government back militia, the Janjaweed, have engaged in campaigns of wiping out communities of African tribal farmers.
The elderly, unable to move, sat and prayed in their huts.
This was the village where she had lived her whole life.
While participating in these campaigns, the militias have killed multiple families, raped innocent women and girls, murdered men and boys and have destroyed crops, surplus and animals.
She flashbacked to a conversation between her parents about the refugee camps in Chad.
Adebanke looked around and she saw her village in destruction.
When she arrived at the camp, she was shocked.
When the Janjaweed arrive in a village they kill everything in sight and they feel no guilt or pity for their actions.