darfur Report 2004

Mar 21, 2012 | Uncategorized

October 2004
Darfur: The Genocide Continues
Prepared by Lord Alton of Liverpool and Rebecca Tinsley
1.0 Introduction
1.1  Lord Alton and journalist Rebecca Tinsley returned on Oct 4th from Geneina in Darfur,Western Sudan. This report confirms the World Health Organisation’s estimate that 10,000 people are dying every month from malnutrition and disease inDarfur. Put more starkly, as every hour passes another fourteen people die.  By the close of each day another 333 people are among the 50,000 lives claimed in what the UN has rightly described as “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” In addition to the 50,000 dead, 1.4 million people are displaced. The rate of death is comparable to the death rate inRwanda at the height of the genocide in 1994.
1.2  Over the past nine months David Alton (LordAltonof Liverpool) and Caroline Cox (Baroness Cox of Queensbury) have urged the UN and UK Government to formally declare the events inDarfurto be genocide. Prior to this both peers have travelled independently intoSouthern Sudanand drawn attention to the two million fatalities, and the five million displaced people, since the war started in 1983 (see Jubilee Campaign Report on Sudan 2002 and Hansard). To date, the Security Council has simply established a committee to consider the situation.
1.3 In September 2004 in Parliament David Alton challenged the Leader of the House, Baroness (Valerie) Amos to follow the lead of Colin Powell and the US Administration in making a formal declaration of genocide. The Government have thus far declined to do so, but we strongly welcome the decision of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to visitSudan/Darfurto see the situation first hand.
1.4 In 2002 David Alton called in the House for oil sanctions and a calibrated response againstSudanand in May in the House he warned the Government that they were repeating the failure to intervene inRwanda’s genocide in 1994 (see Hansard).
1.5 During a visit to Darfur, on October 3rd and 4th, he and the journalist Rebecca Tinsley – on behalf of theUK human rights group, Jubilee Campaign – saw for themselves the situation in Geneina.  





2.0 Genocide
2.1 The British Government has said it sees no point in declaring the situation inDarfurto be genocide. Ministers have claimed that such a declaration would “add nothing” to theUK’s current actions. The EU mission to Darfur in August 2004 said the humanitarian disaster “fell short of genocide”, as did the UN’s Representative toSudan, Jan Pronk.
2.2 But, as the US has recognised – and as we were bitterly reminded during the taking of evidence in Rwanda immediately preceding our trip to Darfur (see Jubilee Report Rwanda/DRC – The Killing Continues) – when no formal declaration exists the international community feels able to stand idly by or literally conduct “business as usual” with the perpetrators.
2.3 Under the 1949 Geneva Convention Against Genocide any country that names genocide for what it is must then act to “prevent and to protect” and subsequently bring to justice those who commit crimes against humanity (Article 51 of the UN Charter).
2.4 Even if it were concluded that fewer than the 10,000 who died in August died in September 2004, it would not alter the reality of what has already occurred. Nor would it absolve us of our duty to bring to trial the perpetrators – something that will certainly not happen in the absence of a formal determination.
2.5 In any event, we received contemporaneous accounts that leave no room for purile theological debates about how many people have to die before western interests act. The day we arrived inWest Darfurtwo villages had reported that Government helicopters had arrived bringing arms for the Janjaweed. We cite other examples, below.  
2.6 We spoke to the Fashir of the eastern district of Geneina, Suliman Dina, who is aged 71 and was appointed to his senior position of local leadership by the former Sultan of Darfur.
2.7 He told us that the build up to genocide began in 1995 and during the years that immediately followed. It began with the usual catalogue of plundering and looting. Cows and cattle were stolen, and rustling was accompanied by sporadic attacks.
2.8 In 1997 the Janjaweed militia began to consolidate their position and build a presence. Nine hundred Janjaweed fighters, formed in three lines of 300 mounted men, and reinforced by a Government helicopter from which guns and mortars were distributed, attacked the 54 villages in the Fashir’s district. 433 people were left dead.
2.9 Suliman Dina told us that of the 54 villages only one, Azena, was not raised to the ground. In Azena 12 people were killed and there was much looting, but it was not burnt. The Janjaweed forces were heavily armed and had land cruisers mounted with guns with which they have been able to control and subject the civilian population.
2.10 The Janjaweed tried to hunt down the Fashir but he escaped across the border (30 miles away from where we met him) with many other villagers.
2.11 In 1998 he returned when the Government said there would be no reprisals: “Instead of killing me, they killed my son inKhartoum.” His son, Adam Dina, was a doctor serving as a lieutenant in the Sudanese army. The Government has also continued to harass the Fashir. Last month he was arrested and released after several days in prison for being outspoken in reporting the events that have occurred inDarfur. His life is undoubtedly in danger, but he told us emphatically that he wanted the truth to be told and for the international community to act.
2.12 When we asked him what was the Government’s motive in allowing the rape ofDarfur, he said, “We have lived on this land for generations, under five sultans, but the Arabs want to empty us off our land and take it from us. Since the creation ofSudanthe Khartoum Government has never wanted us and they behave as if they want to rid the whole land of the tribes people.”
2.13 He added that they suspectKhartoumis fearful that “there are too many of us compared to them. Now that the world is open and we can be educated they fear we will over-whelm them.” Changing demography has accelerated a process driven by racism.Darfurwas always a collection point for the seizure of slaves, and even the Arabic word for their African population reflects this servile relationship.
2.14 The Fashir, and others we met, told us that among the Janjaweed fighters are zealots originally from countries such asChad,MauritaniaandNiger– who have been promised the land and possessions ofDarfur’s tribes’ people. Sheik Adam Abdullah Ismael described his harrowing ordeal. By the end of his account he and the other leaders were weeping. This glimpse of open emotion was itself indicative of the abyss into which these dignified people have been driven.  

Sheik Ismael from Hafier Abu

2.15 Sheik Ismael lived at Hafier Abu, the site of a water-pool. In 1997, 15 men and 2 women died after an armed attack. One month later the fighters returned and burnt down the village. He and the villagers who escaped spent 11 hours walking and running, pursued by gunmen, finally reaching a place of safety. After several months they returned and rebuilt their village. Then in 2003, 400 Janjaweed arrived, mounted on horses and camels. “Don’t worry,” they said. “We are just here for the water.” Two days later they started attacking the villagers in the area, stealing every animal and all their property.
2.16 The Sheik went to Geneina to get a vehicle to transport his family and to escape. “If we return we die, if we go back, we die.” He decided to return and was accompanied by an Arab policeman. That night he was forced to watch as the Janjaweed raped 10 of the women. The policeman, who stopped the militia killing the Sheik, told him, “I thank God I am not from this tribe.”
2.17 Sheik Ismael movingly said, “A Government should act as a father – and a father should not love some of his children and not others. A father should love all his children.” He also reflected that “these events have created a climate of fear and a cycle of revenge that will last for generations.”  Sheik Zacharia Yahian Ibrahim gave an equally harrowing account of events in thevillageofTerlile, in the east of theprovinceofWest Darfur, in 1999. During the religious festival of Eid three people were killed during an attack, including the 85-year-old sheik of the village. After looting the village, and stealing the cattle, the Janjaweed burnt it down.
2.18 After escaping, the Sheik returned with his wife and children in 2000. In November 2003 the village was incinerated after the men had their hands tied behind their backs and were forced to give promises never to speak of these events, never to reclaim their land and never to seek revenge. They were then allowed to leave with only the clothes on their backs.

The refugee Camp at Geneina, Darfur

2.19 Sheik Ibrahim Abaka Yakia described how hisvillage ofGosz Banat – in the north of the province – was also attacked by mounted Janjaweed and 17 were left dead: “Nothing was left. The village just disappeared.” Sheik Yacob De Allah lived in Ushara village, near the town ofGeneina. 200 men on horseback surrounded the village, whiplashed the women and children, and beat the men with sticks. Ushara was one of 13 small villages raised to the ground that day.
2.20 Sheik Ibrahim Adam Suleman told us that if the men now leave the refugee camps they will be killed by the Janjaweed. When the women leave the camp to collect firewood or fodder they are regularly attacked and raped by Janjaweed:
“A few weeks ago a lady went to collect firewood. They raped her, broke her arm and left her. Why? The plan of these people is to force us to abandon our land and never return.”
2.21 We were told of another woman who the day before our visit went to collect branches to make a fence for her small garden by her hut in the refugee camp. She is growing okra to try to support herself. She was carrying her baby on her back. When the Janjaweed fighter stopped her she asked if she could lay the baby on the ground while he raped her. After he did this she produced an axe concealed under her clothes and he fled. The attacker is known to the woman and is from Anjudol area.
2.22 Sheik Suleman said that the presence of Non-Governmental Organisations in the refugee camps had provided a measure of protection inside the camps: “but we are prisoners, denied the right of movement. You can’t go one kilometre from the camps.” Sheik Ismael added: “If it weren’t for the NGOs, we wouldn’t be able to stay here. We would have fled or have been dead ourselves.”
 2.23 Never-the-less, the NGOs do not get to every part of Darfur (or to all the areas ofChadwhere refugees have fled). UN Security believes 17% of the population is deemed inaccessible. For instance, in addition to the police permit we had to obtain inKhartoum, travel passes are required to go outside Geneina. The Government of Sudan has recently put one of their senior intelligence officers in charge of security in Geneina and restrictions and reprisals against NGOs may intensify. Two weeks ago, local staff from an NGO were beaten and the local police refused to act “for fear of the army and Janjaweed.”  
 2.24   In addition to the numerous and repeated accounts of killings, burnings and lootings, we were shocked by the widespread use of rape as a weapon of war. We concluded that in every sense what we saw and heard about inDarfuris genocide and should be named as such.
3.0 Rape as a Weapon Of War
3.1 It is hard to overstate the scale of the continuing suffering of the Black African women and girls inDarfur. At Ardamata Camp, outside Geneina, where 30,000 people live, we talked to families who had fled from Abhasla, a village eight days’ walk to the west.
3.2 In February 2004 heavily armed Janjaweed on horseback swept into the village and killed every man and boy they could find. Their cattle were looted and their homes were burned down.
3.3 Thirty five year old Hawry told us that the men “harassed and beat” the women and girls before they rode off. It soon emerged that these are euphemisms for rape, but in their traditional society it is an unmentionable subject, bringing shame and humiliation on the victim and her family.

Women are at particular risk from the armed militia

3.4 We were told that the “Arabs” carried razor blades and sharp knives with them to cut open the atrophied vaginas of old women before they raped them. They also raped girls as young as 10. When the Janjaweed had gone, Hawry told us, the women abandoned the village. “My family once had 88 head of cattle, but I put one baby around my neck and another child on my back, and I started walking.” Her other three children had to walk for the next eight days, hiding in empty houses when they could.
3.5 When Hawry and the other women arrived at the camp they were just some of the 10,000 refugees who also arrived that same week. She and her girls built themselves a hut using branches, reeds and grass to weave a thatched roof. She draped plastic bags across the roof, hoping to keep the rain out when the season arrived.
3.6 As we sat in her hut she talked about the everyday difficulties of her life. She is grateful for the UNICEF school in the camp, but she is frustrated because she wants to find work. She yearns to return to her old life, but she knows it is not possible as long as the Janjaweed are armed. “And the children are too scared to leave the compound,” she adds.


3.7 We joined a group of 17 women sitting in the shade of a tree, drinking coffee. All the married women were widows, and most had also lost fathers, brothers and sons. They need firewood for cooking and grass for their animals, and are thus forced to go beyond the camp. It emerged that they were all, without exception, the victims of attack and rape by the Janjaweed. Although they are clearly traumatised by the daily risks they run, they speak philosophically about it. “If our men go out, they die. If we go, we are raped. That’s the choice.”
3.8 When speaking about the future, 20 year old Semira said the shame of rape would normally have prevented her from finding a husband. “Since most of the young men are dead, I suppose this isn’t going to be a problem.” Semira’s 18 year old sister, Roda, shrugged in agreement. Like all the other women in the group she wanted education, but our conversation kept coming back to their terror at leaving the camp compound to fetch firewood. “Someone has to take away their weapons,” she said. “They are cowards, and if they see soldiers fromBritainhere they will run away. We feel much safer when there are white faces around.”
3.9 The women agreed it would be best to have a European troop presence. “ThenDarfurcan be an independent country without the Arabs harming us and stealing our cattle.”
3.10 We also met 19 year old Jewa whose parents were killed by the militia, and who is now responsible for a family for six. Unfortunately her situation is common, and when one woman succeeds in getting a job she is expected to support her extended family. Sedeer, who cooks for an NGO, supports all eight families of her dead husband’s brothers.
3.11 Margaret, a nurse at the camp, summed it up when she said, “Life for women inSudanis hard, but it is especially hard for women inDarfur.” Her own parents had been killed in southernSudan, and she came toDarfurbecause she knows how the refugees feel, she says. “I keep telling the girls to get as much education as they can because that is their best hope.”
4.0 The Janjaweed is a pro-government militia.
4.1 It has its origins in the mid-1980s. Sadiq El Madhi initiated a policy of arming Arab Baggara militias in Darfurand Kordofan.(Human Rights Watch: Darfur In Flames). It was originally intended as a counter-insurgency measure against the SPLA rebels in the South and to entrench Tujammo Al Arabi (Arab Alliance) throughout the region, subjugating the non-Arab population.

There are no good roads to Geneina – making access for aid agencies difficult.

4.2 The name of the region is the key to understanding its ethnicity. “Dar” means homeland. In addition to the native Fur people the Massaleit and Zaghawa are among the 30 ethnic groups living inDarfur. Ruthlessly discriminated against and targeted for vicious treatment, the African people ofDarfur began attacking military installations in April 2003 at El Fasher airport.
4.3   The tribal leaders we met were emphatic that the Janjaweed are determined to bring about their annihilation. They cannot understand why other Muslims have attacked them (even as they have been gathered for religious festivals), why they have burnt mosques, raped their women, and killed their people. This troubling question is one also for Muslim leaders who need to appreciate the nature of the genocide against these gentle Muslim people who are living through a reign of terror.
5.0 The Government of Sudan
 5.1 The Sudanese Interior Minister, Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has issued a bellicose declaration that “We will not agree to the presence of any foreign forces, whatever their nationality.” Mr.Hussein is part of a government that enjoys single digit support among a population that has been described to us by many people as overwhelmingly moderate in its attitudes (although there is a rump of people who want to see strict Sharia law).
5.2 Mr.Hussein’s attitude reflects his Government’s repeated indifference to international initiatives and a tendency to renege on undertakings given (eg the 1996 Peace Charter), and to allow initiatives to collapse (eg the Ajuba Talks in September 2004).
 5.3 The Machakos Naivasha Protocols  (2003), while a hopeful moment in the Government’s relationship with the SPLA, have been used by the Government of Sudan as a means of stifling international criticism. The talks, which are to resume this month, have become yet another bargaining chip.Khartoumhas threatened to withdraw from the north-south dialogue if the international community takes action against it overDarfur.
5.4 Throughout the gathering humanitarian disaster in Darfur, the Sudanese government has let it be known that it will restrict or deny humanitarian relief access if the international community asserts itself in waysKhartoumdislikes.
5.5 For the international community, the question is whether to accept such blatant blackmail or to make it clear that it will not tolerate genocide against a civilian population.  The choice is between appeasement or decisiveness.
6.0 The United Nations
 6.1 There is no United Nations peace-keeping presence inDarfur. The Government of Sudan have bitterly opposed the presence of “foreign troops” although the reincarnated African Union (AU) has sent a small force of Rwandan soldiers (something their President Paul Kagame, told us he is very proud of when we met him a week earlier in Kigali, and especially given the international community’s failure to respond to genocide in Rwanda in 1994). There are also troops fromTanzaniaandNigeria. Tribal leaders told us they would also like to see European and Commonwealth soldiers deployed.
6.2  Based at El Fasher, the main role of the AU  peace-keepers has been to guard the UN monitors sent to Darfur. The UN has said that at least 3000 soldiers are needed and that they must have a robust mandate. The UN Security Council Resolution of September 18th 2004 committed the Security Council to do little more than think about possible penalties in the event of Sudanese intransigence.China,Russia,Pakistan andAlgeria abstained.
6.3    Despite at least eighteen months of atrocities inSudan, the international community has yet to take a single positive action against the Sudanese Government.
7.0 Britain
7.1 In 1898BritainandEgyptformed a joint government forSudan. The south, with its Christian and traditional religions, gravitated towards British East Africa, and the north toEgyptand Islam.
7.2 By 1947 – as a prelude to independence –Britainhad fused the two regions and handed power to the north. For the south independence resulted in a change of colonial masters. Within two years the army had taken power and begun a campaign of forced Islamisation. The cycle of displacements and refugee crises had begun. In turn the SPLA (Sudanese People’s Liberation Army) and other factions of resistance were spawned. InDarfur, the emergence of the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) – although acting independent of the SPLA  – has now become a potent force. It has armoured vehicles and weapons, in many cases taken from their attackers during reprisal campaigns. Tribal leaders told us, “If we were given weapons, we would fight,” but then added, “We would prefer to go back to the way we were before all of this began.”
7.3 There is a real danger of linkage between the insurgents inDarfurand SPLA. Such a violent escalation could lead to the implosion of Sudan, a coup in Khartoum and the emergence of an even more authoritarian regime (an attempted coup by the Muslim Brotherhood occurred last month), and derailment of the Machakos protocols and the north-south process. The UK Government will want to emphasise all these consequences of the continuing genocide inDarfur.
7.4 Fashir Suleman Dina reminded us ofBritain’s historic links with Darfur, including a treaty with Sultan Mohamaed Baharadin that provided for westernDarfurto opt out of the state created in 1898 if it so wished. He said, “We never really thought about this before but if you are experiencing genocide then you would have to think of anything that would allow you to escape from this.”
8.0. Child Soldiers and the plight of children
8.1 We heard evidence that children as young as 10 have become child soldiers. We also had a chance to speak to Daniel Toole, Director of the office of emergency programmes for UNICEF worldwide about the plight of children. For instance we learnt that one child had joined the rebelSLAafter his father was killed. TheSLAand Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) inevitably attract marginalised, disaffected young people.

Omar was eight years old when he escaped on a train from Darfur to live on the streets of Khartoum.

8.2 Many children have also been left as orphans. In the camps children join the food lines for they are now the heads of their families. We were pleased to learn that the Government of Sudan has been supporting the immunisation programme inWest Darfur (especially against measles). However, polio has begun to reappear and also TB, and we were told that more needs to be done to combat it.
8.3 The worst health threat appears to be malaria. In one refugee camp we visited we were told that malaria is at its peak at present, with an average of one person per household suffering – and over 4000 cases in that camp alone last week. Chloroquinine treatments are not working due to high resistance, and other treatments are limited by their cost.
8.4 We learnt that before the genocide stable villages had been very positive participants in health improvement programmes for children, and although the camps were continuing their work children in inaccessible villages were greatly at risk.
8.5 An immeasurable problem will be the impact of so many babies born due to rape by the Janjaweed. While the women we spoke to would eventually open up somewhat about the horrors of their attacks by the militia, they would not even discuss what the future holds in store for so many children. “They want to dilute our blood, you see,” one woman said. “They hate black people.”
9.0 The IDPs
9.1 There is a traumatised, helpless mood of resignation in the camps. Sometimes it boils over, as, for instance, at Otash camp, near Nyala, when a policeman was recently lynched. A woman recognised him as one of those who massacred her family.
9.2 Some IDPs, an estimated 200,000 have fled toChadand 70,000 more toKenya. The other million have left their homes for makeshift camps that have sprung up in many parts ofWestern Sudan. This exodus has been precipitated by the Janjaweed’s reign of terror. We learnt for example of a boy aged 11 whose mother had been killed, leaving him to care for his three brothers in the camp in which he is living.
9.3 Over one million IDPs have been herded into camps which are run by the Government. Some of the policemen who patrol the camps are Janjaweed militia who have been given police uniforms. This understandably terrifies the people living there.
9.4 Stifling temperatures, soaring to a regular 45 degrees centigrade, food and water shortages, illness and makeshift sleeping quarters, all conspire to rob people of their dignity. They have already lost their land, their homes, their independence and self-sufficiency for which they were noted.
9.5 The irony is that a nutritionalist inDarfurworking for the UN earns $10,000 a month to oversee the distribution of grain and supplements to malnourished children. We are in grave danger of creating vast numbers of dependent people out of the previously self-sufficient.
10.0 Conclusion
10.1 Targeted oil sanctions should have been imposed at least six months ago. The failure to do so and the abject failure to control the flow of arms into Sudan has lulled Khartoum into believing (rightly thus far) that the world community would allow the Janjaweed militia, with their deep associations with the Sudanese Government, to continue to act with impunity.
10.2 It is extremely disturbing that countries with direct interests inSudanhave used their votes on the UN Security Council to soften the world’s response to the crisis inDarfur.China’s National Petroleum Company controls 40% ofSudan’s oil andIndiacontrols about 25% (through the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Ltd).Malaysia’s Petronas Company controls a further 30%.
10.3 One Sudanese – from the south – who has survived nine attempts on his life, told us that, “every barrel of your oil is half filled with our blood”.
10.4Sudanproduces 32,000 barrels daily – worth $1m. In 2001 the Congressional Reserves Record estimated that this same sum, $1m, was what the Government of Sudan has been spending each day on arms.Chinahas sold AK47s, mortars, ammunition and rocket propelled grenades toKhartoum. We heard descriptions of such weapons in use against civilians inWest Darfur.
10.5 The elders whom we met – among the traditional leaders ofDarfur– told us that their greatest desire is peace and an end to the genocide.
10.6 In WestDarfuralone 600,000 of their people live in sprawling camps. There are 120,000 IDPs just in and around Geneina (doubling its previous population). Throughout Darfur – a land mass the size ofFrance– a colossal 44% of the population is directly war-affected.
10.7 Mercifully the rainy season this year was very light. Extensive flooding would have jeopardised humanitarian operations. Of course, this small mercy will also mean a modest harvest – so it is a mixed blessing. And no-one should under-estimate either the seriousness of the situation or the inadequacy of our response.
10.8 The elders said that security remains their greatest concern. They called for five things:
1)      The disarmament of the Janjaweed
2)      The restoration of looted livestock
3)      The return or rebuilding of property
4)      A resolution of the land issue
5)      Freedom to move about
Above all they told us that the genocide must end.
10.9 Sheik De Allah put it well when he poignantly said, “We are a simple people. We know our farms and cattle and that’s all we want. The Government created Janjaweed and have created this situation. We are desperate and pray that the international community will intervene.”
11.0  Recommendations:
1)      The British Government, The European Union, The United Nations and the Arab League must immediately acknowledge that genocide has occurred in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan has supported the perpetrators, universally referred to by the people ofDarfuras the Janjaweed militias.
2)      Targeted economic and military sanctions must be imposed uponSudan, and in particular oil sanctions, must be applied immediately. The international community must prevent the flow of arms intoSudan, and impose an immediate no fly zone overDarfur, enforced by an armed international force, mandated by the Security Council to use force to prevent over-flight of the region by the Sudanese Air Force or its proxies.
3)      The Governments of Rwanda,TanzaniaandNigeriamust be applauded and supported for committing their troops to an international peacekeeping force inDarfur. International leaders must act upon their consciences by committing troops, resources and funding to assemble an armed peacekeeping force, mandated to use appropriate force to defend civilians, internally displaced people (IDPs), monitors and NGO staff in Darfur, and IDPs in camps in neighbouringChad.
4)      The Government of Sudan is urged to immediately stop its military, materiel and financial support of the Janjaweed, to allow international peacekeepers to disarm the militias, and to guarantee the unconditional return of displaced people toDarfurwith the participation of the African Union. The Sudanese Government must begin constructive dialogue with all sides of the community inDarfurto institute a federal power-sharing system of government based on constitutionally enshrined equality for all citizens irrespective of race, religion, sex or ethnicity. As soon as feasible there must be a referendum on the future sovereign and legal status ofDarfur.
5)      The Sudanese Government must immediately stop recruiting people perceived by the local people as Janjaweed into theDarfurpolice force. The international community must apply pressure on theKhartoumregime in this regard.
6)      The international community must press the Sudanese Government to stop the intimidation and imprisonment of NGO staff and community leaders inDarfur.
7)      The Sudanese Government must immediately drop its requirement for NGO staff to obtain travel permits to travel aroundDarfurprovince. NGOs must have freedom of movement to reach isolated areas at will.
8)      Punitive financial penalties must be applied to international companies or governments involved in orchestrating or facilitating military sales toSudan. These penalties must also be applied to companies violating oil sanctions againstSudan.
9)      Recognising that the genocidal terror campaign in Darfur has prevented crops being planted this year, the international community must prepare and adequately fund relief operations to feedDarfur’s displaced people. Given that the UN believes that theDarfuremergency is likely to continue for at least 18-24 months, planning is needed for returns and rehabilitation.
10)  Recognising the burden being borne byChad, the international community must provide assistance and support to the Government of Chad.
11)  We learned that the US Government had promised emergency food aid in the spring which finally arrived in September. There clearly exists a need for a mechanism by which governments who promise aid are held to their commitments.
12)  The 135 signatories of the 1949 Genocide Convention must affirm that once genocide has been determined, action to “prevent and to punish” is required. This action must be commensurate with the magnitude and urgency of the catastrophe.
13)  We commend the Sudanese Department of Health for its immunisation programme. Working with UNICEF and its NGO partners, two million children inDarfurhave been vaccinated against measles, out of a total target of 2.3m. Polio vaccination has been even more impressive, reaching 97% of the target. But at the same time theKhartoumregime must be condemned for its deliberate, cynical and racist neglect ofDarfurover decades. In all ofWest Darfurthere is one stretch of paved road; clinics go without supplies for three years before getting medicines; doctors and teachers are unpaid for months; and are expected to cope with minimal infrastructure. While the people of Darfur are resourceful and stoical, it is clearKhartoumhas brought the rebel insurgency on itself through the contempt with which it has treatedDarfur.
14)  It is intolerable forKhartoumto impose Sharia law on the people ofDarfurto whom it is alien and unacceptable. The international community must insist the Sudanese Government requires the broad consent of the people for laws enacted and applied.
15)  We recognised a profound need on the part of the people ofDarfurto give testimony about what has befallen them. We owe it to survivors, and those who will not survive because of hunger, AIDS or attack, to collect their testimony into an archive. We commend Human Rights Watch for compiling evidence to be used in judicial proceedings, but believe the voices ofDarfur’s persecuted people must be recorded if we are to learn from current failings.
16)  On a practical level, there is desperate need for interpreters because the NGO community does not have enough Arab speaking personnel to communicate effectively.
12.0 Contact Details
Jubilee Campaign St Johns Cranleigh Rd Wonersh Guildford GU5 0QX
Tel 0044 1483 894 787 Fax 0044 1483 894 797

Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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