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UN Claims “Crimes Against Humanity” In Darfur

From a selectively concerned Associated Press:

U.N. calls for intervention in Sudan

By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer

GENEVA – A high-level U.N. human rights team said Monday the Sudanese government has orchestrated crimes against humanity in Darfur, and it urged stronger Security Council action because steps taken so far by the international community have proven ineffective.

In one of the hardest-hitting and most explicit reports in a series submitted to the world body, the team called for U.N. Security Council intervention, sanctions and criminal prosecution.

The team, headed by Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, was itself barred by Sudanese officials from the restive region, where more than 200,000 people have died and more than 2.5 million have been displaced by fighting in Darfur.

“All U.N. Security Council and (African Union) Peace and Security Council resolutions should be fully implemented, including those relating to travel bans and the freezing of funds, assets, and economic resources of those who commit violations,” the 35-page report said.

Important steps have been taken by the international community, including the African Union and the United Nations, but “these have been largely resisted and obstructed, and have proven inadequate and ineffective,” the report said.

The conflict began when members of the region’s ethnic African tribes took up arms against what they saw as decades of neglect and discrimination by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum. It is accused of unleashing a pro-government Arab militia, known as the janjaweed, that has committed many of the atrocities in the conflict.

The U.N. Human Rights Council commissioned Monday’s report in an emergency session in December. Williams filed the report after concluding in a 20-day attempt to enter Sudan in February that the Sudanese government had no intention of cooperating with the United Nations.

Sudan’s government “has manifestly failed to protect the population of Darfur from large-scale international crimes, and has itself orchestrated and participated in these crimes,” the report said.
It said rape was widespread across Darfur, but that Sudanese authorities were doing little to prevent it or investigate the crimes.

“Arbitrary arrest and detention in Darfur by government security forces continue,” the report said, adding that there had been a wave of arrests of Darfurians in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, in recent months.

There also have been curbs on free speech and “credible information on torture, inhumane and degrading treatment by national Security and Military Intelligence during attacks and in the treatment of detainees,” the report said.

“War crimes and crimes against humanity continue across the region,” it said. “The principal pattern is one of a violent counterinsurgency campaign waged by the government of the Sudan in concert with janjaweed militia, and targeting mostly civilians. Rebel forces are also guilty of serious abuses of human rights and violations of humanitarian law.”

Williams told The Associated Press that some of the rebels should probably be tried alongside Sudanese officials and janjaweed militia members.

“But I think that the overwhelming burden of guilt lies with the government and the militia,” she said in a telephone interview.

The Sudanese government delegation at the council meeting declined to comment, saying they would only react to the report when they address the council Tuesday.

Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, last month linked Sudan’s government to atrocities in Darfur, naming a junior minister as a war crimes suspect who helped recruit, arm and bankroll the janjaweed.

Ahmed Muhammed Harun, the former junior interior minister responsible for the western region of Darfur, and a janjaweed militia leader, Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, are suspected of a total of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Sudan says it already has set up its own war crimes courts, and does not have to turn over suspects named by the ICC.

The report said anti-government rebels also were to blame for human rights abuses, including rape and torture of civilians. Much of this violence was related to fighting between different rebel groups and an increase in banditry in the largely lawless region, it said.

Although the team was unable to enter Sudan, it held numerous consultations with a wide range of aid agencies working in the region and also was briefed by African Union officials in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the report said.

In Chad, the team also spoke to some members of rebel groups, including the Justice and Equality Movement and the secretariat of the National Redemption Front, and to Darfur refugees.

But the Sunnis killing the Shiites in Iraq — and vice versa — is of no concern to the United Nations. Or, more importantly, Bono.

Apparently Saddam never committed any crimes against humanity. And the Muslim terrorists now killing more than 100 women and children a day there haven’t either.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 12th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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