Searching For Jacob

Scott Pelley Reports On The Genocide In Darfur

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How would this attack have played out on the day that it happened here?

"Five in the morning, people were woken up by the sound of aerial bombardment. And then, the Janjaweed, the armed militiamen, come in on camelback and horseback. And they start burning and shooting the men, raping the women. And then the third phase is the government forces usually on the outskirts, cleaning up anybody who tries to escape," Prendergast explains.

Prendergast estimates that hundreds of villages throughout Darfur have been destroyed this way. "We now have over two million people. About two and a quarter million people who are homeless," he says.

Survivors took children and ran, an exodus without food or shelter until they came to refugee camps. Beyond the shimmer of the Sahara, you'll find a refugee camp, Oure Cassoni. It's a warehouse for a persecuted people.

If Jacob was alive, he would be in a place like Oure Cassone. The camp was set up by the U.N. and an American charity, the International Rescue Committee, started in the 1930s to rescue Jews in Germany.

Why are these people targets of genocide today? Because they're not Arabs. Sudan's government is an Arab dictatorship. Ethnic Africans have suffered discrimination for years, and when they rebelled in 2003, the government moved to exterminate them.

Kids pay the price for their parents' wars and there are nearly 20,000 thousand children in this camp alone. Among them are four young orphans, ranging in ages from two to seven, whose grandmother packed them onto a donkey and walked three days.

The grandmother tells Pelley that 28 family members were killed.

Asked what happened to the children's parents, she says, "His mother died. The bomb that was dropped from the plane cut her to pieces. She died instantly. But the father was killed by the Janjaweed."

There were more children in the clinic. Ashis Brahma is the camp doctor - one doctor for 25,000 people.

"We have very simple drugs here but I'm doing funky medicine, voodoo medicine or bush medicine," Dr. Brahma explains. "I'm doing what we can here with the medicines we have without equipment."

Our team met a starving child framed like a picture against that vibrant culture that used to be with little certainty of a future. Dr. Brahma was hopeful for this girl, suffering with meningitis, but she died in just a few hours.

"What is it that you think people don't understand about what's going on here now?" Pelley asks Dr. Brahma.

"This is bad. They go to the villages, and they burn one village after the other, then when the people come out they catch the women and gang bang, they rape them not one guy, no 10, 15 then they carve up the men and throw them in the drinking water to make sure that this place will never ever be used again. And you're telling me the people in America don't know this or don't want to know this. Maybe its too much to know but that's what's happening right now and its happening all over again," Dr. Brahma says. "I'm sorry to say I'm going to sit here with you in two years time and I'm gonna tell you the same sad story. People will say, 'Ich habe nicht gewusst,' which is German for 'I didn't know.'"

The man who doesn't want you to know is Sudan's dictator Omar al-Bashir. He has signed a U.S.-brokered peace agreement but it never took hold. Al-Bashir launched a new offensive, and then came to the U.N. to hear President Bush say this to his face: "To the people of Darfur, you have seen unspeakable violence and my nation has called these atrocities what they are: genocide."

Sudan's U.N. representative looked amused during Bush's speech. Al-Bashir threatened war against U.N. peacekeepers.

Why do these guys mock the U.S. in public? It turns out our government's relationship with Sudan is complicated. In the 1990's al-Bashir hosted Osama bin Laden for five years, so he has information on al Qaeda.

"It's been a very good deal for the government of Sudan to give little tidbits of information about suspects around the world in order to blunt United States outrage over what's happening in Darfur," Prendergast says.