Monday, 3 August 2009

Darfur: “Genocide label no longer accurate”

Link: Is Darfur still a genocide? White House isn't sure [ISRIA]
Link: US envoy says US sanctions hurt Sudan [AP]

Back in March Obama selected retired Air Force major general J. Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan.

Then-Senator Barack Obama at a foreign policy forum with retired Air Force General Scott Gration, right, in Des Moines, Iowa, in December 2007. [Associated Press]

On Thursday 30 July, Gration reported back to senators that the “genocide” label is no longer helpful or accurate. He noted that there is a significant difference between what happened in 2003/2004 and what is happening today and that he can see no evidence of state sponsored terrorism in Sudan. He has said that sanctions are hindering efforts to rebuild the war-torn country and help people in camps.

He recently angered Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, when he said the situation in Darfur was no longer a “genocide” but reflected the “remnants of genocide”. Rice also gave testimony last Wednesday and did not engage in the controversy surrounding the definition. She said that the US have two tasks to complete in Darfur: the implementation of a north / south peace agreement and saving lives and ending suffering in Darfur.

Whatever the approach taken towards achieving peace in the region, Darfur advocacy groups remain skeptical of President al-Bashirs intentions:

"We are encouraged to hear unequivocally from General Gration that he and the Obama administration are pursuing a balanced approach which includes both carrots and sticks as levers to change Khartoum's behavior," said Save Darfur coalition President Jerry Fowler in a statement. "We are, however, seriously doubtful of Khartoum's true intention and ability to make good on their promises." - ISRIA

I tried for a long time to remain objective and to withhold judgement on whether the conflict in Darfur was a civil war or a genocide. I explain in this post that there is no longer doubt in my mind. Watch the videos and then perhaps you too will be convinced.



  1. Genocide or not, it does not matter what term is used. But the fact remains there has been loss of lives for which US as well as the local leadership are responsible.

  2. Let's face it, the world is in a mess. Things will only come into line when enough people with a passion to understand speak out. You are certainly doing your part. Congratulations for that.

  3. Hi Emm,

    Thanks so much for the compliments on my article/photos.

    Seven is a magazine I originally found in Borders which is now entirely online. I got involved by writing about it in my blog and the editor contacted me and I ended up writing some articles and subediting.

    The magazine is aimed at politically conscious young people with an interest in arts and culture. Anyone can submit articles like any other publication. There's contact information on the website. It's split into four categories - the Issue, Music, Film and Culture....

  4. @ Ram: Yes, you are absolutely right. The problem is that if it is not a systematic and organised attempt to murder all of the members of a particular group, then the United Nations cannot intervene. If it is indeed a civil war or armed insurgents with a resultant humanitarian crisis, then it is not within the remit of the United Nations to intervene.

    This is why I call into question whether the United nations is relevant. When I ask this question, I am asking whether their current structure allows them to do everything they need to be doing. I don't think it does and I think they need to expand their remit.

    For the moment though, I believe there is enough evidence to support the notion that this is indeed a genocide, that is a systematic attempt to exterminate a certain group of people, and therefore, the United nations and indeed individual nations needs to intervene.

    @ gaelikaa: Thank you for your kind comments.

    @ Little London: Cool - maybe I should think of contributing one day.


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