Presentation on theme: "Human Rights Violations in Darfur, Sudan: A country that Needs our Help Can Americans be stirred by the consequences of their complacency? By: Jennifer."— Presentation transcript:
Human Rights Violations in Darfur, Sudan: A country that Needs our Help Can Americans be stirred by the consequences of their complacency? By: Jennifer Marschke
Low level conflict between nomadic and agriculturists groups based on the competition for resources has been going on for years in the Darfur region in Sudan. The Nomadic Groups were accustomed to moving during the dry season to provide food for the animals on lands of the sedentary farmers, and as population increased, desertification and changes in lifestyle set in. Sedentary farmers began to herd their own animals and wanted Nomads to stop grazing on their lands, while Nomads sought land on which to farm. Clashes between the groups became a regular occurrence.
Complaining about their economic marginalization and the lack of protection for the farming population, two armed groups began fighting the government security forces in February 2003. The government of Sudan exploited tensions and began to back largely Arabic, Nomadic attacks on villages of largely African, sedentary farmers.
This violent response “resulted in a breakdown of traditional reconciliation mechanisms and a hardening of tensions along ethnic lines” – Amnesty International
People from sedentary groups formed the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), in protest of what was perceived as the failure of government security forces to protect them from the Nomadic groups. The SLA claimed that they were attacking the government rather then the Nomadic groups, because the government was to blame rather than the ethnic tensions.
The Sudanese government looked as though it sought reconciliation at first, but by March 2003 the government decided to solve the revolt by force. The government gave free reign to the nomadic militias known as the Janjaweed, to attack, burn, and loot villages in rural areas and to kill and massacre the villagers in order to drive them away from their homes.
The conflict in Darfur has led to some of the most severe human rights abuses conceivable, including wide-scale murders, genocide, rape, abduction, forced displacement, and torture, described by some sources as an “ethnic cleansing.” The United Nations has deemed the Darfur conflict the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. – Wikipedia Encyclopedia
The Janajaweed militia gunmen supported by the Sudanese regime, continued reigning terror on the local population. The recent British Parliamentary Report estimates 300,000 deaths since the start and the UN estimates 180,000 deaths in the past eighteen months. More than 1.8 million people have been displaced form their homes. In this photo, rebel soldiers walk past a body that they say was left from an attack by government forces in the Farawiya district in August. Surrounding ravines held sixteen decomposing bodies. – International News Picture Story.
In This Photo: Khalid Saleh Banat, 13, a soldier with the Sudanese Liberation Army stands with other SLA soldiers after training in the morning in the village of Shigekaro, in Darfur, August 22, 2004. Khalid has been with the SLA for two years, joining at the minimum age for a soldier at 11. The SLA is one of the Sudanese rebel groups controlling parts of Darfur. – International News Picture Story.
In these photos: shown are civilians killed by janjaweed militias in Darfur. This African Union archive is classified, but it was shared by someone who believes that Americans will be stirred if they can see the consequences of their complacency. The photo at the upper right was taken in the village of Hamada on Jan. 15, right after a Sudanese government- backed militia, the janjaweed, attacked it and killed 107 people. The photo to the right shows the corpse of a man with an injured leg who was apparently unable to run away when the janjaweed militia attacked. At the upper left is a man who fled barefoot and almost made it to this bush before he was shot dead. Last is the skeleton of a man or woman whose wrists are still bound. The attackers pulled the person's clothes down to the knees, presumably so the victim could be sexually abused before being killed. If the victim was a man, he was probably castrated; if a woman, she was probably raped. – New York Times 23 Feb 2005
This photo displays a crying refugee who has had to flee her home in Darfur. – BBC News
This photo displays a young child taking some water, emaciated and starved in a refugee camp. Because of insecurities and difficulties, it is hard for food to reach all of the people in camps. Most families say that they ran out of food a week ago, surviving since by sharing rations “intended to save just the weakest infants. In a tented hospital for about the worst cases the children are emaciated, and tormented with the pain of starvation.” In the hospital setting at least one person is seen to die a day while out in the communities it has been estimated that there are 40 deaths a week, “that we know of.” The displaced are all black Sudanese forced from their villages by the Janjaweed militias. – BBC News
In this photo a child is suffering from lesions due to burns from bombs dispersed by the Janjaweed. Disease has also become a developing problem. The rains cause mud in the roads which make it hard for aid to get through. The rains have also brought disease, by flushing sewage in the drinking water. With overcrowding there is always the fear of outbreak from disease “because of lack of proper water and sanitation”- Dr. Jonathon Spectre, Medecins Sans Frontieres. Many children in the camps already have diarrhea, vomiting, and measles. – BBC News
Thousands of women are suffering abuse from rape and other forms of sexual abuse in Darfur perpetrated by the Janajaweed militia using sexual abuse as a weapon of war. Women are surviving to tell their stories after having fled the bombing and burning of their homes, witnessed the killings of their relatives, being brutally violated and raped and then given the “cultural taboo that rape constitutes in Darfur.” –Amnesty International In this photo, a young girl was attacked and branded on her arm. In a Zam Zam camp in North Darfur, seven girls were held captive by police checkpoint. Fifteen minutes after being released, the girls were attacked. Three women were raped and abducted for more than two days, and were then forced to walk back to the camp with no clothing. Women who have been raped are stigmatized within society. “A women who has been raped is like a piece of spoiled meat,” said one man, Who would have her?” – Refugees International
There should not be a question of why? Darfur has been described as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the current world. After seeing the damage done, when would you presume it is time for the United Nations or the United States to take a stand and do something in Sudan? The “ethnic cleansing” has been happening for over two years and the US and UN have imposed sanctions, while the Sudanese government has pledged to disarm the militias, but more needs to be done!
Timeline of Events in Darfur, Sudan from Wikipedia Encyclopedia July 2004 – Annan and US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Sudan and the Darfur region, and urged the Sudanese government to stop supporting the Janjaweed militias, describing the visit as productive. According to BBC, at this time there were analysts that estimated a need for at least 15,000 soldiers to put an end to the conflict. On July 30, the UN gave the Sudanese government 30 days to disarm and to bring justice to the Janjaweed, in UN Security Council Resolution 1556. August 2004 – The UN’s 30 day deadline expired on August 29, after which the Secretary General reported on the state of the conflict. According to him, “the situation has resulted in some improvements on the ground but remains limited overall.” In particular, he noted that the Janjaweed militias remain armed and continue to attack civilians. September 2004 – On Sept.9, Powell declared to the US Senate that genocide was occurring in Darfur, for which he blamed the Sudanese government and the Janjaweed. The UN had not yet considered the acts in Sudan genocide, but passed Resolution 1564 threatening the Sudanese government to urgently improve the situation with the possibility of threat to oil sanctions. October 2004 – The World Health Organization reported that an estimated 70,000 people have died of disease and malnutrition in Darfur since March. The UN pledged $100 million to support a deployed force (about half of the $221 million it would cost to deploy the force for one year. November 2004 – Un reports of Sudanese troops raiding refugee camps and denying aid agencies to access the remaining inhabitants inside. On Nov. 9 two accords were signed between the JEM and SLA and the Sudanese government as a short term progress in resolving the conflict. On Nov. 10, the Sudanese military conducted attacks on Darfur refugee villages in plain sight of UN and African Union observers. January 2005 – A report by the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur is given to the Secretary General stating that Sudan and the Janjaweed are responsible for serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law amounting to crimes under international law.
March 2005 – UN Secretary general Koffi Annan spoke to the Un Security Council requesting that a peacekeeping force in Darfur be increased to support 2,000 African Union troops, but the resolution was delayed by the failure of the Security Council to agree o the mechanism used to to try war criminals and the application and extent of sanctions. On March 29, Security Council resolution 1591 was passed, to strengthen the arms embargo, and place an asset freeze on those deemed responsible for atrocities in Darfur. It was agreed that war criminals will be tried by the International Criminal Court. Un released a report at a new estimate of 180,000 that have died due to malnutrition and disease in the 18 months of conflict. April 2005 – On April 5, a list of 51 names was given to the ICC by the UN for people suspected of war crimes. The Sudanese government said that it would not hand over the suspects. On April 29, it was reported that the administration of George W. Bush forged a “closed intelligence partnership” with the Sudanese government despite being present on the list of state sponsors to international terrorism and the statement made by Colin Powell that genocide was happening in Darfur. May 2005 – The SLA and JEM, the two main rebel groups in Sudan announced that they would like to resume peace talks with the Sudanese government. The Bush administration then tried to tone down the situation in Darfur, refuting that it is genocide and stating that the UN’s estimates may be too high due to increased cooperation with the Sudanese government on the War on Terrorism. July 2005 – The African Union Peacekeeping Force reported that security was improving in the region, that there had been no major conflicts since January, and the numbers of attacks on villages had been dropping. There are currently 3,000 troops to keep peace, with more troops from surrounding and countries abroad expecting to go. August 2005 – Despite recently improved security, talks between the various rebels of a peace agreement are going slowly, with no sight of a final peace agreement.
September 2005 – there were a series of peace talks mediated by the African Union on September 15. October 2005 – The African Union accused the Sudanese government and the rebels of violating a cease-fire after an attack by militia that killed at least 32 civilians. After the increase in fighting in the region the UN announced that it will withdraw all non-essential staff from Darfur, stating that West Darfur is too dangerous for aid-agencies to operate. December 2005 – There was an attack on the village of Chadian that led to the deaths of three hundred rebels, which was the second in the region in two days. Sudan was blamed for the attack. On Dec. 24 Condoleeza Rice’s proposal to restore $50 million in aid to the African Union peace groups was rejected by the Congress of the US. February 2006 – On February 3, as the US began their month long presidency to the UN Security Council, the US offered a motion to begin plans to send UN peacekeepers to Darfur. The Security Council agreed unanimously to begin planning for a 12,000 to 20,000 troop presence along with the 7,000 African Union troops already there that were given new weapons and being incorporated into the UN mission. Difficulties are still expected to arise in finding states that will contribute troops to the UN mission. Although the US offered the motion, the US is not expected to contribute troops to the mission. The leader of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, is widely believed to be supporting the Janjaweed militias to Darfur, and has also frequently stated his opposition to UN peacekeepers in Sudan, further complicating the problem. Assuming all of the other problems are overcome, UN TROOPS ARE STILL NOT LIEKLY TO APPEAR IN DARFUR FOR NEARLY A YEAR!!!
Amnesty International USA has compiled recommendations for the deployment of a United Nations Peace Support Operation in the areas of Sudan 1.A strong Human Rights component. 2.Gender Issues and the protection of women and children. 3.Addressing impunity. 4.A strong and unambiguous mandate and sufficient means to protect civilians. 5. Safe and sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced people. 6.Arms control and collection.
Bibliography American Society of International Law. (2005). US proposes new regional court to hear charges involving Darfur, others urge ICC. The American Journal of International Law. 99 (2), 501-502. American Society of International Law. (2005). President and Secretary of State characterize events in Darfur as genocide. The American Journal of International Law. 99 (1), 266- 267. Connell, B. (1997). Political Islam under attack in Sudan. Middle East Report. 34-36. Gingerich, T & Leaning, J. (2004). The use of rape as a weapon of war in the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. Program and Humanitarian Crises and Human Rights. 1-33. URL’s http://www.un.orgecososdev/geninfo/afrec/vol18no2/182genocide.htm http://www.news.bbc.co.uk http://www.amnestyusa.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darfur_conflict *Also used were the United Nations most recent Security Resolution 1663 adopted on March 24 2006, and the document on American Interests and UN Reform no. 2 focused on saving lives, safeguarding human rights, and ending genocide.