Chad's President Idriss Deby and Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir wave to the crowd after launching the Darfur Regional Authority in El Fasher, February 8, 2012. The new regional body will promote development and be responsible for the governance., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Save Dafur’s Mi$$ing Million$: The Israeli Connection
By Thomas Mountain
The so called “Save Dafur Coalition” raised tens of millions of dollars, some say a hundred million or more to help the people of Dafur yet an investigation by this writer can find no evidence of any of this money reaching Dafur refugees on the ground in Sudan.
I first wrote about Dafur back in 2003 and since then have interviewed over a dozen veteran aid workers from Dafur with more than 50 years on the ground there between them and first off;
1) Not a single one agrees that genocide was committed in Dafur. The consensus is that somewhere between 20-30,000 people died in the Dafur conflict and that most deaths took place in 2004 and early 2005 (the Save Dafur Coalition wasn’t started until 2007).
2) None of the Dafur aid workers I spoke with had seen any sign whatsoever of aid from the Save Dafur organization, not even a t-shirt.
Tens of millions, maybe one hundred million dollars or more raised for Dafur and little or none of it made it to hungry children on the ground in Africa’s west Sudan, Dafur?
I wrote about this sometime ago were I told of being contacted by aid workers in Dafur who had on their own done some investigations via contacts inside the Save Dafur bunch and had learned that money was being sent to Israel.
Since this story was written contacts inside the member organizations of Save Dafur have confirmed that they were sending money to Israel and said it was for the Dafur refugee resettlement program in Israel.
There are several thousand Dafur refugees in Israel, or at least they are claiming to be from Dafur. Dafur and Eritrean refugees are allowed special status in Israel so most African economic migrants to Israel automatically try to claim they are from either. Most of the African migrants are from Ethiopia and other countries not on the priority list.
Aid workers in Israel that contacted this writer seem to think that Dafur refugees in Israel have not benefited from tens of millions of Save Dafur dollars, unless of course, Save Dafur turned the money directly over to the Israeli government?
As violent mobs of Israeli racists attack the African communities in Israel’s cities and towns, calling for the ethnic cleansing of “the infiltrators”, be they from Dafur, Eritrea or wherever in Africa, Dafur$ mi$$ing millions go unaccounted for.
Who knows, maybe the Save Dafur/Enough Project will tell us next that they are using the money to send the Dafur refugees home to Dafur, where today it seems a safer place for them be than in the so called “lone island of democracy in the middle east”, Israel.
Thomas C. Mountain was a founding member in his home town of the Alliance for Peace and Justice in the Middle East in 1982, area coordinator for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign’s Eyewitness Palestine program from 1987-1991 and is today the most widely distributed independent journalist in Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at yahoo dot com.