Op-Ed / / 04.29.24

USA Today Op-ed: Every two hours, a child dies in Sudan. Our global silence is deafening.

Note: This op-ed was originally published in USA Today and was authored by John Prendergast, co-founder of The Sentry, and Don Cheadle, an actor and activist.


Every two hours, a child dies in Sudan. Our global silence is deafening.

As it stands now, only the vultures – whether birds or war profiteers – are benefiting from the slow collapse of the country.

As the 21st century’s first genocide unfolded in the middle of the Sahara Desert 20 years ago, we were part of an unprecedentedly large coalition of citizens pressing the U.S. government to act. Sudan’s western region of Darfur was being ripped apart by militias collectively known as the Janjaweed (“devils on horseback”). Hundreds of thousands were killed, and millions rendered homeless.

We participated in rallies and met with politicians from all over the United States, traveled through rebel-held areas of Darfur, brought TV crews to spend time with refugees in the camps in Chad, co-authored an otherwise obscure book on Darfur that ended up a New York Times best-seller, and were part of an anti-genocide people’s movement called Save Darfur that was aimed at stopping the atrocities and supporting a peaceful democratic transition in Sudan.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could say this effort had a happy ending?

Tragically, genocide has returned to Darfur, along with mass atrocities being committed throughout Sudan in an escalating year-old war. But this time it has been met with a deafening silence. The only living creatures that are thriving in this environment are the vultures, feeding on corpses left in the streets to rot.

Click here to read the full op-ed.