New York Times Highlights Ryan Boyette’s Work in Sudan
By Katherine Ryan
This week The New York Times released “The Worst Atrocity You’ve Never Heard Of,” a video about the Sudanese government’s bombing of its own citizens, the Nuba people. The oppressive regime of President Omar al Bashir has waged war against the Nuba for several years.
The video features two Americans living and working in the Nuba Mountains amidst the bombings. Ryan Boyette, last year’s recipient of the Human Rights First Award, trains Nubans to document the conflict. The video footage they collect is often the only news source coming out of the region; international journalists were kicked out and now only enter illegally and at significant risk. The second individual featured is Dr. Tom Catena, the only doctor in the region, who serves thousands of Nubans afflicted by the attacks.
The Sudanese government indiscriminately targets civilians, including schools, hospitals, and villages. But the atrocities do not end with bombings; Sudan has also blocked food, medicine, and aid groups from the country.
Boyette says the bombings have increased in recent months. As the terror escalates, the United States should take the lead in advocating for the rights of the Nuban people, pressing the Sudanese government to allow access to aid and medicine, and to end the indiscriminate bombings.
President Obama is scheduled to visit Africa later this month, and Human Rights First joins New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof in urging Obama to raise this issue with regional leaders.