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The Genocide in Darfur

OPINION features excerpts of pieces by columnists from the Op-Ed page and other sections of The New York Times. All columns from the last seven days are available at nytimes.com; Op-Ed pieces (by columnists and outside contributors), plus Editorials and Letters to the Editor, are at nytimes.com/opinion. Please let us know what you think of OPINION at upfront@scholastic.com.

When the Arab men in military uniforms [known as the janjaweed] caught Noura Moussa, 22, and raped her, they took the trouble to explain themselves. "We cannot let black people live in this land," they said. Moussa is one of thousands of women and girls who have been assaulted in Darfur as part of what appears to be a deliberate Sudanese government policy to break the spirit of several African tribes. This is the first genocide of the 21st century, and we are letting them get away with it. It is our acquiescence that allows the rapes and murders to continue. We must convey outrage and demonstrate, loudly and insistently, that Darfur is an American priority. There is no shame in being raped, but plenty of stigma should be attached to those who ignore crimes against humanity. —Nicholas D. Kristof [11/22/05]