Chemical Weapons in Darfur: International action must be taken Article Comments (0)
email Email print Print pdfSave separation increase decrease separation separation OPEN LETTER TO US GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND UN PERSONNEL: URGENT ACTION IN RELATION TO THE CHEMICAL ATTACKS IN DARFUR October 14, 2016 To: President Barack Obama; UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon; Prince Zied, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights The Special Advisors on the Prevention of Genocide (Mr. Adama Dieng) and Crimes Against Humanity (Dr. Jennifer Welsh) to the UN Secretary General, respectively; Key UN Personnel Dealing with Human Rights Issues; US Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and, U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR); U.S. Congressman McGovern (D-MA); and, U.S. House of Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY). From: Scholars of Genocide Studies from Across the Globe, Human Rights Activists, Anti-genocide Activists, and People of the Cloth Re., Actions That Must Be Taken Immediately in Regard to the Chemical Attacks on Darfur As most of you are no doubt aware of, this past week Amnesty International issued a report in which it decried and spelled out in great detail how the Government of Sudan has recently carried out chemical attacks against civilians in Darfur. In part, the report asserts that “horrific evidence,” including satellite imagery and more than 200 in-depth interviews with survivors, along with the analysis of dozens of images, suggest “at least 30 chemical attacks between January and September took place in the Jebel Marra region.” AI estimates that between 200 and 250 people were killed as a result of these attacks, “with many or most of them being children.” Whether you deem it a continuation of the genocidal actions against the Darfurians, a case of crimes against humanity, or war crimes, it is an outrage. And the horror for the civilians of Darfur does not end there. Tellingly, AI cited satellite imagery that indicated that over 170 black villages had been damaged or destroyed between January and September, “the overwhelming majority” of which had no formal relationship with the rebel forces in the region. What is it going to take to move the international community (the UN, the United States, the European Union, the African Union, etc.) to once and for all quell the violence in Darfur against the civilian population and then guarantee the million plus internal displaced persons and half a million (and rising) refugees are able to safely return to the land and villages from which they were forced off and out of as a result of the GoS’s scorched earth actions between 2003 and today? Can anyone say? Will anyone say? As you know, on September 9, 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell announced to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “The Government of Sudan had committed genocide, and was possibly still doing so.” As it was allowed to do under the UN Charter, the U.S. Government then referred the matter to the United Nations. The United Nations then chose to carry out its own commission of inquiry (UN Commission of Inquiry into Darfur). And while tens of thousands of innocent people (women, children, infants, the elderly) were shot and killed, sliced open and left to die where they dropped, not to mention burned to death, the UN took the rest of the month of September and all of October to complete the plans for its inquiry and then took all of November and part of December 2004 and January 2005 to carry it out. In late January, the UN issued a detailed and scathing report in which it declared that the GoS and its militia, the Janjaweed, had carried out crimes against humanity against the people of Darfur. The UN then referred the matter to the International Criminal Court (the ICC). The then ICC carried out its multi-year investigation into the mass destruction and death in Darfur at the hands of the GoS and Janjaweed. An African Union peacekeeping mission was established in Darfur in 2004, followed by a hybrid AU/UN Mission in July 2007, when the AU found that it did not have the wherewithal to handle the crisis on its own. In light of the large number of civilians either forced from their homes between 2004 and today and/or killed, it is patently obvious that neither mission was effective as some had hoped they would be. And actually, if one could muster the will to place him/herself in the Darfuris’ shoes then one is likely to agree with them that both missions were complete and utter failures. That must change, and it must change now! The time for talk, talk and more talk is not when innocents are crying and dying. The time for handling President Omar al Bashir and his regime with kid gloves should have been over long ago. The time for dithering (or, like Nero, playing the fiddle), while parts of Darfur (like Rome) are being poisoned to death must end — and now. All of the eloquent words and promises of “Never Again” ring hollow in the face of what the black Africans of Darfur have been subjected to by both the GoS, the Janjaweed, and, yes, the international community (with the exception of those who have provided humanitarian aid) over the past thirteen plus years (2003-2016). Indeed, all of the promises have yielded nothing but more pain for the Darfuris, more gain for the GoS, and more pathetic examples of hypocrisy by the collective members of the international community. Shame on all bystanders. Shame on all of us! It is not enough for one official or another, let alone the UN Security Council, to simply, solely, and lamely decry and denounce the latest atrocities perpetrated by the Government of Sudan. Words only go so far. Words have a tendency to evaporate into thin air. What is needed now is action: concrete action that is efficient, effective and sustained. One has to ask: Where is the impact of the Responsibility to Protect? Why didn’t the UN Special Advisors on Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity to the Secretary General, speak up about the critical need for concrete and effective action to stanch the use of chemical weapons back in January? And when none was coming, why did the Special Advisors continue to not only allow, but to take part in, bureaucratic games? Are they truly serious about stanching crimes against humanity and genocide? People are dying, people! Nice sounding speeches and policy papers don’t do them one bit of good if they are not followed by solid action. Where has President Obama’s Atrocity Prevention Board been while all of these atrocities have been unfolding? And now that it is surely aware of the chemical attacks against the Darfurians, what is it doing? Or is the APB, to use colloquial phrase, more show than go? That is, is it more cosmetic than anything else? Where has the UN Security Council been in upholding the UN Charter in this regard? Silence in the face of cases such as this constitutes, in its own and inimitable (and inimical) way, complicity. If organizations, agencies and individuals are not actively involved in attempting to stanch such horrors, then they are bystanders watching it unfold before their very eyes, as if they have nary a worry in the world. This is not the time for excuses by the international community, individual nations, and politicians — excuses such as we are over stretched, we are already dealing with a nightmare in Syria, we are dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees on the front doorstep of Europe, we are dealing with ISIS, etc.! We know all of that! We also know that for all of the promises that have been made to the civilians of Darfur and all of the inept actions that have been carried out at the costs of hundreds of millions of dollars, the people of Dafur are no safer today than they were at the height of the killing back in 2004 and 2005. The following is what we urge the UN Security Council and individual nation states, including the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, and New Zealand, etc., to do immediately, and without fail: 1. Pass a resolution at the UN Security Council, which thoroughly condemns — and in no uncertain words — the latest round of atrocities perpetrated by the Government of Sudan; 2. Significantly ratchet up the UN sanctions against Sudan, which Sudan has largely ignored and been breaching on a regular basis; 3. Significantly ratchet up targeted sanctions against individuals and other entities in Sudan contributing to the conflict in the Darfur region — to the point just before the sanctions begin to cripple the aforementioned groups; and, 4. Significantly increase the number of AU/UN military forces on the ground, and implement a rigorous evaluation policy to determine whether the individual forces are actually carrying out their duties efficiently, effectively, and consistently. 5. Provide the latest and best health care for those Darfurians who have been burned and sickened as a result of the chemicals dumped on them by the Government of Sudan. 6. Once and for all, establish a no-fly zone over Darfur. It need not consist of a constant presence in the sky but rather a presence that makes itself known to the Government of Sudan. Further, we support the following recommendations/call for actions issued this past week by the Darfur Women Action Group: • We urgently call on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the use of chemical weapons; • We trust that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will also investigate and prosecute the latest crimes committed by the al-Bashir government and forces; • We call on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to implement its existing resolutions condemning serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the government of Sudan, and to ensure that the Sudanese Government and its officials are held accountable and brought to justice immediately; • We call on President Barack Obama and all world leaders of good conscience to condemn the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to lead the international community in calling for an immediate stop to all violence against civilians in Darfur and to impose more effective sanctions to prevent further atrocities by the Sudanese Government; and, • The United States and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must pressure the Sudanese Government to allow humanitarian aid organizations and the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to deliver much needed aid and support to all affected communities in Darfur.?We call on all governments and intergovernmental organizations alike to match their resolutions with meaningful action to hold the government of Sudan and its officials accountable and to demand that these cruel acts of horror are immediately stopped and punished. As the sage Hillel asked, “If not now, when?” Clearly, it is an admonition to postpone no responsibility. If what the civilians of Darfur have been facing and continue to face is not a situation that calls for moral responsibility on the part of the international community then what is? Truly, what is? We, scholars of genocide studies, human rights activists, anti-crimes against humanity and genocide activists, and religious figures, concerned citizens all from across the globe, beseech you to act and act now on the behalf of the Darfurian civilians. We would not only appreciate an acknowledgement of this letter but a response in regard to the substantive issues raised. Please email it to samstertot...@gmail.com Thank you for your attention to these matters. Signed: Dr. SAMUEL TOTTEN Professor Emeritus University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Author of Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains of Sudan, and compiler/editor of An Oral and Documentary History of the Darfur Genocide Baroness Caroline Cox Cross Bench Member of the British House of Lords, and Founder of the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) London, England Professor Ben Kiernan, A. Whitney Griswold Professor of History and Founding Director (1994-2015), Genocide Studies Program, Yale University New Haven, CT Author of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur Dr Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe Researcher Dakar, Sénégal Author of Readings from Reading: Essays on African Politics, Genocide, Literature Dr. Israel Charny Professor Emeritus, and Director of the Institute of Holocaust And Genocide Studies Department of Psychology Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel Author of The Genocide Contagion Dr. Michiel Leezenberg Professor Department of Philosophy University of Amsterdam Amsterdam, The Netherlands Author of “The Anfal Operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.” In S. Totten & W.S. Parsons (Eds.), Centuries of Genocide: Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. Dr. Eric Reeves Senior Fellow François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Harvard University Cambridge, MA Author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide Dr. Helen Fein Institute for the Study of Genocide New York, NY Author of Accounting for Genocide Dr. Colin Tatz Visiting Fellow, Political and International Relations Australian National University Canberra, Australia Author of With Intent to Destroy: Reflecting on Genocide Dr. Herb Hirsch Department of Political Science Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA Author of Genocide and the Politics of Memory: Studying Death to Preserve Life, and Co-editor of Genocide Studies International Dr. Maureen S. Hiebert Associate Professor, Department of Political Science Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Military, Security & Strategic Studies University of Calgary Author of Constructing Genocide and Mass Violence: Society, Crisis, Identity (forthcoming) Dr. Victoria Sanford Professor & Chair, and Director, Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies Department of Anthropology Lehman College New York, New York Author of Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala Ms. Gillian Lusk Writer on Sudan and South Sudan London, UK Dr. Rouben Adalian Director, Armenian National Institute Washington, DC Editor of The Armenian Genocide in the U.S. Archives Dr. Yair Auron Historian Open University Ra’anana, Israel Author of The Armenian Genocide: Forgotten and Denied Dr. Henry C. Theriault Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department Worcester State University Worcester, MA Co-editor of Genocide Studies International Dr. Elihu D. Richter, MD MPH Director and Researcher Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention and Hebrew-University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine Jerusalem, Israel Dr. Rubina Peroomian Research Associate Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures University of California, Los Angeles Dr. Taner Ackam Professor of History? Robert Aram, Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies Department of History? Clark University? Worcester, MA Author of The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire Dr. Kimberley Ducey Associate Professor Department of Sociology University of Winnipeg Winnipeg, MB Dr. Peter Balakian Rebar Professor of the Humanities Colgate University Hamilton, New York Author of The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response Dr. John H. Weiss Professor, and Founder, Caceres-Neuffer Genocide Action Group Department of History Cornell University Ithaca, New York Dr. Rick Halperin Professor, Director of the Embrey Human Rights Program, and past Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International, US Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas Dr. Salim Mansur Associate Professor Department of Political Science Western University London, Ontario, Canada Dr. Paul Slovic University of Oregon Department of Psychology Eugene, Oregon Author of "If I Look at the Mass I Will Never Act: Psychic Numbing and Genocide.” Professor Michael Bazyler ? Professor of Law and The 1939 Society Scholar in Holocaust and Human Rights Studies Dale E. Fowler School of Law Chapman University ?Orange, CA Dr. Linda M. Woolf Professor Psychology and International Human Rights Webster University St. Louis, MO Dr. Waitman Wade Beorn Lecturer Corcoran Department of History University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA Dr. Jan Colijn Professor and Dean Emeritus Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Galloway Township, NJ Author of Ruin’s Wheel: A Father on War, A Son on Genocide Dr. Jason J. Campbell Assistant Professor Departments of Conflict Resolution and Philosophy Nova Southeastern University Ft. Lauderdale, FL Author of Planning a Catastrophe: On the Nature of Genocidal Intent. Dr. Yael Stein MD Co-founder, the Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention, Jerusalem , Israel Jerusalem, Israel The Rev. Heidi McGinness Presbyterian Clergy (PC-USA) Denver, Colorado (Twelve year witness of Khartoum’s genocide and enslavement of Sudanese citizens.) Dr Kevin Simpson Professor of Psychology John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR Author of Soccer under the Swastika: Stories of Survival and Resistance during the Holocaust Dr. Robert Skloot Professor Emeritus Department of Theatre University of Wisconsin, Madison Sister Deirdre Byrne The Little Workers of the Sacred Heart Washington, DC Alexander Ramadan Tarjan Member End Nuba Genocide Nuba Mountains, Sudan Dr. Paul Mojzes Professor emeritus Rosemont College Rosemont, PA Author: Balkan Genocides: Holocaust and Ethnic Cleansing in the Twentieth Century Slater Armstrong Founder/Director Joining Our Voices & co-leader of End Nuba Genocide Baton Rouge, Louisiana John Jefferson Co-founder End Nuba Genocide United States Dr. Michael Minch Professor of Philosophy and Peace and Justice Studies Utah Valley University Orem, Utah Dr. C. Louis Perrinjaquet, MD, MPH Vice President and Medical Director Doctors to the World Breckinridge, Colorado Dr. Dick Bennett, Professor Emeritus, and Founder, OMNI Center for Peace, Justice, and Ecology University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR Compiler, Peace Movement Directory Dr. Gagik Aroutiunian Associate Professor, Department of Art, Media & Design, DePaul University, Chicago, IL Dr. John K. Roth Edward J. Sexton Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Claremont McKenna College Claremont, California Author of The Failures of Ethics: Confronting the Holocaust, Genocide, and Other Mass Atrocities Dr. Edward Kissi Associate Professor University of South Florida Tampa, FL Author of “Obligation to Prevent (O2P): Proposal for Enhanced Community Approach to Genocide Prevention in Africa,” African Security Review Dr. Debórah Dwork Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Founding Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Clark University Worcester, MA Author of Flight from the Reich Dr. Michael Berenbaum Former Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Holocaust Research Institute (1993–1997); currently, Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust American Jewish University Los Angeles, CA Author of Witness to the Holocaust, and The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Dr. Khatchik Der Ghougassian Professor Universidad de San Andres Victoria, Buenos Aires, Argentina “Genocide and Identity (Geo)Politics: Bridging State Reasoning and Diaspora Activism” in Genocide Studies International Dr. Alejandro Baer? Associate Professor and Stephen C. Feinstein Chair & Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies Department of Sociology University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN Dr. Deborah Mayersen Historian University of Wollongong Wollongong NSW Australia Author of On the Path to Genocide: Armenia and Rwanda Reexamined Dr. Norman Naimark Department of History Stanford University Stanford, CA Author of Stalin’s Genocides Dr. Yehuda Bauer Professor Emeritus of History and Holocaust Studies The Avraham Harman Institute of Contemporary Jewry Hebrew University Jerusalem, Israel Author of Rethinking the Holocaust Dr. Kjell Anderson University of Amsterdam/NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies Amsterdam, Netherlands Author of A Criminology of Genocide: Killing Without Consequence (forthcoming) Dr. Eric D. Weitz Distinguished Professor of History The City College of New York New York, NY Author of Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation Dr. Alex Alvarez Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ Author of Genocidal Crimes Dr. Gregory Stanton Research Professor in Genocide Studies and Prevention School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution George Mason University Arlington, VA Ms. Rebecca Tinsley Journalist and Human Rights Activist London, England Author of When the Stars Fell to Earth Dr. Tetsushi Ogata, Ph.D. Lecturer Peace and Conflict Studies — International & Area Studies Academic Program University of California, Berkeley Dr. Ervin Staub Professor Emeritus Founding Director of the Doctoral program in the Psychology of Peace and Violence University of Massachusetts at Amherst Author of The Roots of Goodness and Resistance to Evil: Inclusive Caring, Moral Courage, Altruism Born of Suffering, Active Bystandership and Heroism Dr. Mukesh Kapila CBE Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs University of Manchester Manchester, England Author of Against a Tide of Evil: How One Man Became the Whistleblower of the Twenty-First Century -- To post to this group, send email to email@example.com To unsubscribe from this group, send email to southsudankob+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com Visit this group at https://groups.google.com/d/forum/southsudankob View this message at https://groups.google.com/d/msg/southsudankob/topic-id/message-id For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout --- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "South Sudan Info - The Kob" group. 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