NOT ANOTHER RWANDA

 

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Since 2003, the conflict in Darfur has resulted in the deaths of around 300,000 people, as well as the displacement of over 2.6 million others. Unfortunately the international community has done very little to put an end to the atrocities. The Darfur Crisis is turning into a version of the Genocide in Rwanda. Without additional efforts by the international community, history will repeat itself. The human dignity of individuals has been violated as many have faced torture and persecution. Women have been sexually violated and they live with the perpetual fear of being raped even in refugee camps.

The conflict in Darfur has been called "genocide" by many figures including former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Despite the international consensus on the graveness of the issue and UN Representative John Danforth’s tireless efforts to focus UN Security Council action on Sudan, so much more needs to be done.  The on-site efforts by the African Union (AU) have been thwarted by the lack of resources - only 2,000 peacekeepers and their mandate does not include protection of civilians.

ICC indicts Sudanese President al-Bashir

So the question we find ourselves asking is; at this rate who will be responsible for the crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, and who will support efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice? The answer is to refer Sudan to the International Criminal Court (ICC). This would bring substantial and urgently needed assistance to the efforts of the African Union.  Most importantly it would expedite investigations of the various crimes against humanity that have been committed and pave the way for genuine justice. However, one of the biggest obstacles in the way of peace and justice is the fact that the U.S. has expressed its disapproval of referring the crisis in Darfur to the ICC.

 

For more information on the crisis in Sudan check out these links:

Information on the ICC warrant for al-Bashir

Amnesty Internationals reports on the Crisis in Darfur:

http://web.amnesty.org/pages/sdn-index-eng

http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/sudan/index.do

The African Union page on its Peace and Security efforts in Darfur

Human Rights Reports on the Crisis in Darfur as well as videos and pictures of the current situation:

Save Darfur Coalition