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Stuck in Chad, and YouTube is the Communication Line

By Steve Grove

Head of News and Politics

On Saturday, when around 1500 rebel forces attacked Chad's capitol city of N'Djamena, the American organization Stop Genocide Now got stuck in the middle of the fighting. Sequestered in a Hotel just a few hundred yards from the presidential palace, the group turned to YouTube to broadcast reports back home.

The video are powerful. With gunfire in the background and personal commentary from the group's leader, Gabriel Stauring, you get a real sense for the gravity of the situation as the Chadian government tries to beat back the rebel forces. Friends, famliy, and supporters tuned in via their YouTube channel and blog.

Stop Genocide Now had been reporting from refugee camps on the Chad/Sudanese border, where hundreds of thousands of refugees remain displaced from the genocide taking place in neighboring Sudan. Gabriel and team had been filing YouTube dispatches from their trip every day, until the rebel invasion of the capitol left them stuck in their hotel in the city. It wasn't the first time the group had used YouTube to bring attention to the situation in Darfur - the video question they shot from a refugee camp was used in the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate back in July:

Lucky for the group, they were evacuated from their hotel to a French Military complex on Sunday. But the fighting continues in Chad - French troops have been sent to beat back the rebel forces but progress has been limited.

The conflict in Darfur and Chad is one of the most tragic on the planet, and it deserves our attention. Keep your eyes on YouTube channels like Stop Genocide Now to keep learning more about what's happening there, and what we can do to help.

Steve G.