In a compelling initiative the International Criminal Court is accepting supporting evidence of children’s drawings of the crimes committed in Darfur.
The pictures, crudely drawn in crayon and pen, bear the hallmarks of child sketches; look closer and one perceives not the usual fantasy scribbles of unicorns and elves, but of militia men, death and destruction.
For example, Abdeljabbar’s picture [above] depicts someone being thrown into a fire and a soldier who appears to be cutting off a man’s head.
Adam (15) illustrated the bodies of slaughtered villagers floating downstream and accompanied his sketch with the note ‘Look at these pictures carefully, and you will see what happened in Darfur. Thank you.‘
Mohamat’s picture is particularly evocative as the militia brutally execute villagers, whose bodies are tagged with the word ‘morts’.
Aisha’s drawing displays the plethora of attack mechanisms used: from aircraft to camels, the slaughter of innocent families is captured with the unerring eye of a child.
That these images are seared into the minds of these children is crushing – how do children recover from such events?
More startling is their insights: not only do their renderings expose the lies promulgated by the Sudanese government – several pictures reveal tanks, while the government denied using heavy artillery – but the accompanying notes belie a sagacity beyond their years.
As Aisha attested: “It is very kind to send us food, but this is Africa and we are used to being hungry. What I ask is that you please take the guns away from the people who are killing us.”
Like the pictures, the message could not be clearer.
To view additional pictures, click here.