Sunday, October 22, 2006

Searching For Jacob: "60 Minutes"' Scott Pelley Reports on the Genocide in Darfur

October 22, 2006

(CBS) It hardly seems possible, but the genocide in Darfur is taking a turn for the worse. The government in Sudan has launched a new offensive, maybe trying to finish what it started three years ago. As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, more than 300,000 people are dead and more than two million are refugees in the Sahara.

To understand what is happening in Darfur, 60 Minutes came upon on the story of a boy named Jacob. We know him only because his name is on schoolbooks found in the ashes of his home. Jacob's village was wiped out. Our team saw his books in a museum. We didn't know whether Jacob was alive or whether we could find him. But we decided to try. Our search turned into a remarkable journey into a place we were forbidden to travel looking for a boy swept up in the 21st century's first genocide.

The search for Jacob began at the United States Holocaust Memorial in Washington D.C. Dedicated to never letting genocide happen again, it now finds itself with fresh evidence in a new exhibit.

John Prendergast brought the remains from Jacob’s village to Washington and to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. In the Clinton White House, he led a team that imposed economic sanctions on Sudan. Now, he’s with the private, International Crisis Group, pressing for action in Darfur.

"We found in a book bag, a series of notebooks," Prendergast explains. "Clearly the kid who was doing math and spelling homework and the teacher has corrected it with a red pen."

The kid, Jacob, must have been 16 when his village was destroyed. 60 Minutes packed his books and left on a 7,000-mile journey.


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