A village burned by the Janjaweed. Photograph taken by Brian Steidle.
USHMM, courtesy of Brian Steidle
"IN DARFUR, MY CAMERA WAS NOT NEARLY ENOUGH"
Documenting atrocities is a first step in the long road toward justice. Brian Steidle, a former US Marine, was a member of an African Union team monitoring the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Steidle took hundreds of photographs. His disturbingly graphic pictures show brutality against civilians—including small children.
Tens of thousands of civilians have been murdered and thousands of women raped in Sudan's western region of Darfur by Sudanese government soldiers and members of the government-supported militia sometimes referred to as the Janjaweed. Over 1.5 million civilians have been driven from their homes, their villages torched and their property stolen by the Sudanese military and allied militia. Thousands die each month from the effects of inadequate food, water, health care, and shelter in a harsh desert environment. All are afraid to return home because the military and the militia are still marauding in the countryside.
The crisis continues. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has issued a Genocide Emergency for Darfur. Is the world watching now? Will individuals and governments intervene in this unfolding genocide? Should there someday be legal proceedings against the perpetrators, as there were at Nuremberg, photographs like Brian Steidle's will become evidence for the prosecution. A post-Holocaust world demands it.