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The Daily Nightly began on May 31, 2005. As Brian wrote in his first post it aims to provide a narrative of the broadcast day and a window into the editorial process at NBC Nightly News. Brian weighs in every weekday and NBC News correspondents and producers post regularly.

Brian Williams became the seventh anchor and managing editor in the history of NBC Nightly News on December 2, 2004. Read his full biography.

Return to Darfur's edge

Atrocities are escalating, as our NBC News team has returned to Darfur's edge - this time we carry body armor. Landing in Goz Beida, Chad today, it is immediately clear that it is much more dangerous than 8 months ago when we were last in the region. First came reports that thousands of Sudanese government troops had amassed from Darfur to back the Arab militia called Janjaweed. And with the end of Ramadan and the rainy season there was wide-spread fear that a mass killing campaign was being planned.

Then came hard evidence this fear is justified -- the UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, has substantiated at least 10 African villages have been attacked. Most are set on fire. Men are being killed, women are gang raped - the attacks are systematic in most cases by black Arabs against  black Africans. A new crisis is begging to be stopped.

A top Bush Administration official told me days ago the U.S. government is deeply concerned the killing could even rise to what it was in 2003-04 when it's estimated mostly tribal farmers were targeted and killed in Janjaweed attacks. Millions were set fleeing - many are now living as internally displaced people and as refugees in Chad.

Ironically, the thousands who fled here to Chad are being attacked a second time. Adding to the fragility, rebel groups and the military of both countries line the border amid fear that Sudan will try to back a coup of Chad's government.

Eyes But it is the simplicity of the story we are hearing from the wounded that tells the real ugliness here. A 27-year-old man bayoneted in both eyes this past Tuesday lies in a hospital bed in pain and panic about how he is going to care for his wife and two young children. They called him "nuba" - racist slang for black as they pulled out both his eyes.

Photo by Antoine Sanfuentes

It is the racism that fuels this violence that really gets to you. Here I thought going back, experienced in reporting about these kinds of crimes, it would be easier this time.  It's not. It breaks your heart. How could it not?

Saturday morning we are going to meet the survivors of these burned villages -- they are amassed, hundreds of them, living under trees with so many stories to tell. As we go to bed tonight we are steeling ourselves to hear  what the world will also be shocked to hear: It's still happening.

Ann Curry will be reporting on the Darfur conflict all week. You can see her reports on the Today Show, Nightly News and online at www.Nightly.MSNBC.com and www.Today.MSNBC.com.

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COMMENTS

Dear Ann Curry,
You are doing a great job. Thank you. A great book for anyone to read to understand Muslim thinking is " Because They Hate" by Brigitte Gabriel.
Best Wishes.

Dear Ms. Curry,

Thank you so much for all you do. I really appreciate you bringing us what other newscasters wont. The crisis in Darfur needs to end now and we, as Americans, need to take action to prevent other genocides from happening. I trylu mean to take action in my school to help out.

Thanks again,

Nicole

Hi Ann- Thanks for the greatv job you are doing is such a terrible environment.So many people in zimbabwean have been complaining about the situation in our country but i think after reading this story they should thank God that we do our business without fear, we are not raped and tortured in the streets and we enjoy relative freedom. Our prayers are with you and the people in Darfur. May the Lord protect you as you go about your dangerous but necessary job

If the role of the US military under the UN is to stop genocide in the world like in Darfur, then President Bush's strategy is correct in staying in Iraq until there is security and stability. If the US military leaves Iraq now, Shiites will slaughter the Sunnis & Kurds.

The US military is strong enough to do both, and unfortunately strong words don't stop fanatical killers in the real world.

I am glad to see this coverage of Darfur. How is America involved? First of all China is Sudan's biggest trading partner and is also America's biggest trading partner. Russia is arming Sudan. There is oil in the region and the Sudanese Government has been promoting ethnic division and bombing Darfur villages in order to simply move people off of their land in order to take it.

In such cases we need regional strategies that involve all of the major figures and also major world powers that are profiting from the status quo.

Another problem has to do with the Bush administration's rhetoric about the United Nations. The UN and Security Council have been pressured to support U.S. policies rather than play the role outlined in their mandate. Without strong leadership from America UN agencies and non-governmental organizations have struggled to get peace talks organized.

The media in the U.S. has also generally failed to report on the violence at times when international attention could have made a difference in pressuring the parties to negotiate. Furthermore, when the people of Darfur rebel against the militias and government forces that are committing atrocities the government of Sudan points the finger of blame at them. --The Bush administration should have immediately cut this type of rhetoric off. They did not do so and part of the reason is that the rhetoric was convenient as an excuse for lethargic responses to the displacement of millions and death of hundreds of thousands.

There is a new peace initiative starting. Americans can make a difference in stopping the genocide by pressuring their own government, both the White House and Congress, to apply some pressure on Sudan. At the same time the US can support the UN in peace initiatives and help to strengthen the demand for peace by urging Russia and China to cooperate too.

please- this is not about the US... people are being slaughter for racial and political reasons....the Arab/Sudanese need to be held accountable.

It's 8:06 am Sunday, December 24th, the day before Christmas. Don't tell my boss but I've been reading these articles on Darfur while I'm here at work. It's brought me to tears - it's a good thing I sit in this office by myself.

I get so F-ing angry to know my government has done nothing to intervene in this crisis, yet it has the capacity to take billions (trillions perhaps?) of our tax dollars which all too often end up spent on a scandal here and a scandal there. Our provincial Premier, for example, just gave himself a $40,000 INCREASE to his salary on top of what he's already making. I wonder how much food and water could be bought with that $40,000 for the people of Darfur? And who knows how much more food and water could be bought if the other provincial ministers - who also got enormous increases to their salaries, by the way - contributed their new found wealth too? I shouldn't let it bother me, I'm sure my government knows what the best way is to spend my tax dollars.

I'm fuming mad, but if my government doesn't give a crap about the people of Darfur, then why would they care about what I think? Or even vise versa?

I wish I was Superman, then I could actually DO something to stop the butchering, the raping, the murdering. But I'm not Superman. It appears there's no Supermen or Superwomen in any level of Canadian government either, provincial or federal.

African lives carry little value anywhere in the world, especially here in the United States. If we were witnessing the daily mass slaughter of innocent puppies, an unprecedented outcry for intervention and a collective demand for cessation of the savagery and unabated killing would saturate the media. However, black lives lack value as evidenced by the lack of action by the international community who refuse to intervene on behalf of these people that are being subjected to genocide. It has taken years for the US government to even acknowleged these atrocities and define the actions as consistent with genocide. Now that the acknowledgement has occurred the ho-hum attitude echo hollow around the world. As long as the victims are black, we will never see an effort aimed at relieving the pain and suffering of these people. History continues to repeat itself. How can a continent that boasts 35% of the worlds natural resources find itself on the verge of an uninterupted holocaust..The slaughter of hundreds of thousands of black people is palatable, killing puppies is not.

Africa, the mother country cries for us.

Dear Ms. Curry,
It is sad to see some of the comments posted here obfuscating your fine reporting. The genocide in Darfur is not based on religion, but on political expediency. The President of Sudan thinks the world is not paying attention, and so, in his view, the easiest solution to a political problem is genocide. By the same token, this is not Iraq. The terrible genocide of the Kurds in Iraq happened from 1987-89; the genocide in Darfur is happening today.

I'm confused now; please help me out. Why is it OK to intervene in Chad, where hundreds are being killed by a brutal government and it is wrong to hav intervened in Iraq where hundreds were being killed by a brutal government. In my view, if it was wrong to intervene in Iraq, which has turned into a morass, then is also wrong to intervene in chad, which will certasinly become a similar morass. Conversely, if it is OK to interviene in Chad, then it was also right to intervene in Iraq.

Thank you, Anne, for this report.

Let me suggest another easy, fast way to help: Go to http://darfurwall.org and donate $1 to light a number. It takes one minute and benefits four Darfur relief organizations.

Thank you Ann for your thoughtful reporting on Darfur. I wonder, as a temporary measure, if fire starter logs or treated wood could be donated to the villages so the women would not have to travel into the bush to get fire wood and thereby, hopefully, avoid rape and torture until real solutions can be found. Please keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

Dear Ms. Curry
Thank you for your courage , thank you for your dedication, thank you for your compassion.
I have been spreading the Darfur Genocide information,for the past year, via a News Letter sent by Email to as many people as I could reach , most of the time I felf like preaching to walls.
I have sent a copy of the latest letter to your attention at Today@nbc.com ,please read it.
God Bless You.

Ann, this poem is dedicated to all the people suffering the horrors of genocide, starvation, and other terrible tragedies in Darfur, Chad and other places in Africa. The Serengeti Plain, now protected, is the last haven on earth where more wild animals freely roam on the planet and over 500 species of birds fly. Close by human communities are suffering some of the most horrendous conditions on the face of mother earth. The African Serengeti Plain is a refuge and as such a living metaphor of hope.

Serengeti

The cries of the wild
Far, far away
Calling, crying out loud
The heartland,
The homeland
Serengeti.

White as snow
Black as the night
Voices crying, calling out loud
Against ice aged politics
Against clashing continents
Deadly silence
Lost forever.

Drums beating
Echoing through the night.
Haunting sounds
Beating hearts dying,
Beating drums crying
My refuge Serengeti.

Parched land
Waiting for the rains.
Parched land dying
Parched land crying
Rivers of blood flowing
My sanctuary Serengeti.

Wondrous beauty
Ghastly nightmares
Awakes primeval
Migrating violence,
Migrating death--
Bodies falling, children dying.
Where is my Serengeti?

The cries of the wild
Far, far away
Calling, crying out loud
The heartland,
The homeland--
My Serengeti.

Armies massing,
Wildebeest pawing.
Then the thunderous roar
Stampedes across the plain.
Nearby the dead walk
Searching for a home,
For hope, for life.
Extend your love, Serengeti.

Extend your borders,
Embrace your neighbors
Where life and death
Hang in the delicate balance.
The world watches,
Waits and watches to see
Will the Serengeti ever die?

Listen to the drums,
Hear the voices crying
While you live Serengeti.
While you live
Spread your wings,
Extend your homeland,
Extend your heartland--
Never die Serengeti. Never die.

Johnny W. Ferguson
johnnyjwf@gmail.com

Dear Ms. Curry:

Thank you so much for bringing this atrocious situation to light. I wish that there was something I could do to help these poor people. The children, so precious, and shattered by what they have been thru...
Are Americans being allowed to adopt of any of these orphaned children???

Ms. Curry;
I am a highschool senior, and I was, quite frankly, shocked at the thought of children being so mistreated by the Janjaweed. Why must they bother those so much younger than them?
I'm writing an article in my journalism class to try and bring attention to the issues in Chad. Also, I am the President of United Student Achievers, the Red Cross Club in my highschool. I'm going to see exactly what we can to do aid your efforts in Chad, perhaps by raising money or sending supplies. (Suggestions, please email me; they are appreciated and I'm eager to help)
Thank you for bringing light to these horrible issues. I will do what I can to help you, and in the meantime God be with you.

I read in Nick's column that he had to run for cover from the Janjaweed. I assume you are with him. For a moment, you, he, your crew, felt the fear that the Darfuris and Chadians feel everyday. Only if Kofi Anan, Pres. Bush, and the leaders of the Muslim countries of the world can feel the same fear. Statistics, individual stories of survival, video blogs, slideshows, movies, plays, books, White House vigils, rotating fasts, rallys, a million postcards, phone calls...nothing is penetrating their inhumanity. They are deaf to the public will to stop genocide. Maybe we need to bring back a human artifact of the genocide. In a bottle. Would they react?
http://CoC-NJ.home.comcast.net

Dear Ms. Ann Curry,

We are saddened to lears this horrific violence in Darful, same types of violence and killing are still going in Iraq. I think this problems started everywhere when Bush invaded Iraq without any good reason and destroy that Nation, and killed tens of thousands of innocent people.

This past Sunday was the first in a month or so I didn't see the ads about Darfur, and demanding Bush act now!!! Well the election were over so I shouldn't be surprised.
The ads should be screaming for UN reform. Bet a bunch of these same groups are also against John Bolton being America's UN Ambassador. We need someone like Bolton in the UN, Someone who is not crippled by this perverted politically correct sense of right and wrong.

Gosh I hope Bush has never called them evil

Ms. Curry,

It was a pleasure having you with us these last few days and its always wonderful to have people here helping to get the story out there to the world. I've been working here in Chad for over a year now and things are getting worse by the day, I can only hope that people are informed and take action soon enough to save lives. Keep up the good work!

Ann please stay safe. It's very dishearting to see and heard this.Why has such violence occures in this region? Don't they believe in the same God?,An know that what they are doing is wrong or is there some hidding agenda here.

Dear Ms Curry,
As a native of Chad, I would like to Thank you for making the world aware of this horrific situation and what is still happening in that area.
Your work is certainly saving lifes. Keep up the great job. The sudanese government MUST be held accountable for the situation.
Be safe and THANK YOU.

Unfortunately I’m going to be the naysayer in this one. I submit that it is great for your news show to continue to report on this and keep it in the Worlds Eye, not just Americas. It is time for the rest of the world to stand up and take action, let the Arab Nations take the lead and add something positive to the overall good of the world.
Let France stand up and take the lead, although there is no money involved for the French Government and it was their early colonization of this region that created a lot of the political problems we see there today.
Let South America and Hugo Chavez stand up and take action to assist others who are struggling for survival and to have a future.
Take a look at the slaps in the face American has taken over trying to assist others, especially in recent history. Take a look at the amount of taxpayer dollars going overseas to assist these countries and their corrupt government who turn on us at the drop of a hat.
America cannot win in our attempts to assist all countries all of the time. I say keep airing your coverage and asking what the UN and these other supposedly compassionate countries are doing to alleviate the pain and suffering in this region. Let America focus on our own internal issue for a few years before we are sucked into another Arab mess.

Ann - you are an inspiration. Thank you for shining a bright light on the darkest part of the world.

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