John Heffernan discusses Sudanese genocide with students
John Heffernan, a senior investigator for Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) held a lecture on the Sudanese genocide after school on Nov. 17 in the media center, hosted by Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) and Amnesty International.
An employee of the PHR, Heffernan has conducted investigations on conditions in Sudan. He held two discussions, one at 2:10 p.m. the other 3:00 p.m., covering wide variety of subjects relating to the Darfur crisis. His presentation included a brief history of the genocide situation, a video that he and a coworker filmed in Sudan earlier this year and a short question and answer session.
Heffernan lived in Sudan for two years back in the 1990s, which helped motivate his research. Through visiting dozens of villages and interviewing numerous refugees, Heffernan and his team concluded that, "there was organized attempt to affect a group annihilation." His team's findings have helped contribute to the general response of the US government towards the crisis.
For uninformed Blazers, Heffernan provided background information and data to ground the discussion. The Sudanese crisis – which has killed over 300,000 people and left more than two million homeless – was recently declared genocide. Unlike previous genocides, which occurred swiftly and dreadfully, the Sudanese genocide has endured for several years. "This is a genocide of attrition," he explained, asserting how crucial it was that the US government pass the Darfur Accountably Act. The act would provide aide for refugees.
The audience for Heffernan's discussion amassed so many Blazers that the discussion was moved into the Media Center at the last minute. Among the covered were what Blazers could do to help the situation in Africa. Heffernan said that "[these lectures are] the type of thing that keeps me hopeful, when I see people like you mobile for action."
Alexis Egan. Alexis is a (very) short junior, who is very pleased to be writing for Chips Online with all her friends. Along with writing, her other hobbies are playing soccer, reading about Mount Everest and listening to any Irish music. Her favorite movie is The Princess ... More »