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Monday, September 13, 2004

Speaking Without Political Compromise on Darfur Genocide: 

Colin Powell must assess the evidence with moral and intellectual
integrity

Eric Reeves
September 7, 2004

THE IMPORTANCE OF A GENOCIDE DETERMINATION

Secretary of State Colin Powell is scheduled to testify Thursday
(September 9, 2004) before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the US
Senate. He is the only scheduled witness, and is widely expected to
announce at the hearing (or before) the results of his shamefully
dilatory determination of whether deliberate, ethnically/racially-driven
destruction of civilians in Darfur, over more than a year, constitutes
genocide.

The specific evidence upon which Powell will base his determination is
a report reflecting more than 1,100 interviews conducted by a team
organized under the auspices of the State Department and the US Agency
for International Development. These interviews and the overall report
are extremely important documents. Given the intense world interest in
Darfur---however ineptly represented by the present "international
response---it is incumbent upon Powell, when he has announced his
findings, to release immediately all interviews and the complete text of
the report. This will enable nongovernmental organizations working in
the field of human rights, genocide scholars, international legal
scholars, and various international organizations to make full use of
these materials in furthering their own thinking about the nature of
human destruction in Darfur.

There can be no legitimate argument against the release of these
documents, suitably purged of any information that would put particular
individuals at increased risk. Indeed, the argument for full release is
as compelling as the growing insistence that what is happening in Darfur
is most appropriately compared to the Rwandan genocide.

By analogy, we must ask whether any argument could possibly be made
that if equivalent documents for Rwanda had existed while the genocide
was underway, such documents should have been withheld from the world at
large. Of course the time-frame of the Rwandan genocide made impossible
the kinds of highly detailed, carefully randomized interviews that were
conducted on the Chad/Darfur border---by 24 interviewers, in two larger
overall groupings, dividing their labors geographically. Moreover,
these interviews were conducted at length, in secure environments, with
a fully adequate number of skilled translators, among refugees who could
speak without the fear that haunts all who remain in camps for the
displaced within Darfur itself.

No reasonable argument for withholding any of these documents can be
made: there is no more important source of evidence for international
efforts to make a determination of genocide. The significance of this
determination lies in the obligation specified in Article 1 of the 1948
UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide,
viz. the commitment to "prevent" genocide. The UN and member states
presently refuse to describe what is occurring in Darfur as (potential)
genocide; implicit in this refusal is the assertion that they have no
obligation to "prevent" genocide under the Genocide Convention (to which
every current member of the UN Security Council is a contracting
party).

Many certainly wish, as this writer does, that the ultimate crime of
genocide not become the perverse "gold standard" for humanitarian
intervention: crimes against humanity, war crimes, and violations of
international humanitarian law and of various Geneva Conventions should
be enough in many circumstances. But we must recognize that other
thresholds for intervention, established by several international
agreements and doctrines, seem not to have any meaning. For example,
the so-called "Responsibility to Protect" that grew out of a 2001 report
sponsored by the Canadian government, "sought to define the
circumstances in which the United Nations, or a coalition of willing
states, could override the doctrine of non-interference in a nation's
internal affairs. Those circumstances included a 'large-scale loss of
life, actual or apprehended, with genocidal intent or not, which is the
product either of deliberate state action, or state neglect or inability
to act'" (John Ibbitson, The Globe and Mail [Canada], September 3,
2004).

Of course Canada is nowhere to be found these days in discussions of
how to mount a humanitarian intervention in Darfur, despite the
unambiguous circumstances demanding that an international
"Responsibility to Protect" be accepted. Canada would appear much
better at funding studies and reports than acting on them: this
presumably is one of the Canadian meanings of "soft power."

But Canada is far from alone in shirking its "Responsibility to Protect"
the people of Darfur---people who are facing "large-scale loss of life,"
with what all evidence extant suggests is "genocidal intent," which
intent reflects "deliberate state action," as has been established by
numerous authoritative human rights reports. That such facts have not
produced any willingness to "override the doctrine of non-interference
in a nation's internal affairs" makes clear why a determination of
genocide so important. Again, in a better world we should not require
such a threshold for international action; and those who worry about
issues of precedent on this score are fully justified. But this is the
world as we find it, and the context in which judgments and actions must
be undertaken.

WHAT WE KNOW OF THE GENOCIDE ASSESSMENT MISSION

We now know a good deal about the findings of the State
Department/USAID investigating team. Indeed, a fine account of the
general tenor of the investigation and interviews is provided in an
article written yesterday for the International Herald Tribune
(September 6, 2004) by Kelly Askins. Askins is senior legal officer at
the Open Society Justice Initiative, and has a doctorate in humanitarian
law:

[I was in Chad to provide] assistance to a US-government-funded mission
led by the Coalition for International Justice, to interview refugees
about why they fled Darfur, and to participate in documenting and
assessing the crimes they endured or witnessed before leaving. According
to witnesses I interviewed, since its independence from Britain and
Egypt in 1956, Sudan has systematically discriminated against its black
citizens, amounting to the crimes against humanity of persecution and
apartheid. It has now reached the scale of genocide---executed through
violence, starvation and other means of destroying the black Africans in
the Darfur region." [ ]

This finding---"it has now reached the scale of genocide"---is without
qualification. Askins continues:

"The definition of genocide is not limited to mass killing, although
that is the means that generates the most attention and outrage. The
Genocide Convention of the United Nations also requires states to
prevent and punish other acts committed with an intent to destroy, even
partially, a racial, ethnic, national or religious group. The most
common form of genocide committed in Darfur is the infliction of 'slow
death' through starvation and disease---an act covered under Subarticle
C of the Genocide Convention, which prohibits inflicting on a group
'conditions of life' calculated to result in its demise."
(International Herald Tribune, September 6, 2004)

Here we have the assessment of an international legal expert who
participated in the most substantial investigation of its kind ever
undertaken during an episode of genocide. There is no hesitation, no
qualification, no agnosticism: "The most common form of genocide
committed in Darfur is the infliction of 'slow death' through starvation
and disease"; the reference to clause [c] of Article 2 of the Genocide
Convention is precisely appropriate: "deliberately inflicting on the
group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical
destruction in whole or in part."

What else have we learned from this group of 24 investigators and the
preliminary report they have compiled? (The final report is presently
tightly held, but this is justified only until Secretary of State Powell
has testified). The New York Times obtained a copy of the preliminary
report and notes a number of important findings (August 25, 2004):

"A preliminary State Department review of the violence waged in the
Darfur region of Sudan has implicated government-backed militias in 'a
consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities,' including murder,
torture, rape and ethnic humiliation." [ ]

"The study, conducted by State Department officials together with
outside legal experts, found that nearly one-third of the refugees
interviewed reported hearing racial epithets while under attack, and
that nearly 60 percent of them reported witnessed the killing of a
family member. Twenty percent of the respondents said they had witnessed
a rape and another 25 percent had witnessed beatings."

"In the preliminary study, roughly half of the respondents said
government soldiers had joined Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, in
attacking black African villages. One quarter of the refugees said they
were attacked by soldiers alone. Another 17 percent said militias alone
attacked them."

"Based on the testimony, the survey declared that 'the primary cleavage
defining this conflict appears to be ethnic,' with Arab soldiers and
militia attacking non-Arab villagers. 'Numerous credible reports point
to the use of racial and ethnic epithets by both the Jingaweit and
Government of Sudan military personnel,' the report said. Among the
epithets that the interviewers reported were 'Kill the slaves' and 'We
have orders to kill all the blacks.'" (New York Times, August 25, 2004)

The hateful racial/ethnic animus in civilian destruction throughout
Darfur is yet again clearly revealed here, as it has been in numerous
reports from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the
International Crisis Group, UN human rights investigations, and
countless news dispatches.

Of particular importance in establishing the "intent" that defines
genocide is the finding that 75% of all attacks, on the more than
200,000 civilians who have fled to Chad, included regular armed forces
of the Khartoum regime. This large refugee population is represented in
statistically significant fashion by the more than 1,100 interviews
conducted in the US-government-supported study. Moreover, these attacks
continue to this day, as has recently been established by the African
Union monitoring team in Darfur.

We must ask here a simple question: "How can we escape the conclusion
that such concerted, long-term attacks on civilians by Khartoum's
regular military forces---including attacks by helicopter gunships and
Antonov bombers---are intentional?" And if the overwhelming majority of
the victims of these attacks are civilians from Darfur's African tribal
populations, how can we avoid the further conclusion that these attacks
are intentional efforts to destroy these people, "as such"? On what
basis does agnosticism about "genocidal intent" sustain itself in the
face of these undeniable facts?

Another wire service report on the findings in the preliminary report
offers additional chilling details, and also supports previous accounts
of the close military relationship between Khartoum and the Janjaweed
militia; it also provides a key statistic from the report on aerial
attacks, with clear bearing on Khartoum's "intent":

"'Based on the information we gathered, the links seemed very strong
between the Janjaweed and the government,' said Stefanie Frease of the
Washington-based Coalition for International Justice, which oversaw the
study with a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Sudan's government, which faces growing international pressure over the
humanitarian crisis, has denied having control over the militia."

"Frease said the refugees, selected at random for interviews, offered
firsthand accounts of racially motivated attacks. In some instances, she
said, the Janjaweed would take infants from their mothers' backs. If the
child was a boy, it would be killed by crushing or knifing. Female
infants would be tossed aside." [ ]

"[A] senior [Bush] administration official, also speaking on condition
of anonymity, said the report tracked closely with other studies by
human rights groups that have documented a campaign of violence
targeting black Africans. The refugees, he said, reported rapes of women
of all ages; the targeting of males over age 12 for execution; the
burning of villages and killing of livestock; and deliberate destruction
of wells and irrigation systems. 'It was not random, it was systematic,'
he said."

"More than 60 percent of those interviewed reported that government
aircraft were used to bomb villages, and some mentioned the presence of
tanks as well, [the senior Bush administration official] said." (Knight
Ridder news service, August 25, 2004)

"It was not random, it was systematic"---this forces the obvious
question: "What is the nature of the 'system' of civilian destruction?"
And the equally obvious answer is that the "system" is defined by the
ambition to destroy the African tribal populations of Darfur. That 60%
of these people, on fleeing to Chad, report Khartoum's use of Antonov
bombers to attack their villages makes clear just how widespread and
"systematic" the genocidal assault has been. Such numerous attacks,
with this extremely high level of purely civilian targeting, cannot have
a military purpose other than to destroy those villages and their
African populations. It is yet more evidence of genocidal intent.

THE QUESTION OF GENOCIDAL INTENT

In the event that political considerations prevent Secretary of State
Powell from speaking the truth about genocide in Darfur, he will need an
excuse for deciding that the deliberate destruction of African tribal
peoples in Darfur, by Khartoum and its Janjaweed proxy, does not
constitute genocide. The excuse to be offered, if this is his decision,
will have been formulated by State Department lawyers---the same sort of
lawyers who were so shamefully diffident during the Rwandan genocide.
We are offered a telling glimpse of their attitudes in an excerpt from
Samantha Power's magisterial study of genocide:

"1. Genocide investigation [in Rwanda]: Language that calls for an
international investigation of human rights abuses and possible
violations of the genocide convention. Be Careful. Legal [Affairs
Department] at State [Department] was worried about this
yesterday---Genocide finding could commit (the US government) to
actually 'do something' [last sentence emphasized in original text]."
("'A Problem from Hell: American and the Age of Genocide," page
359)

"Be careful... A genocide finding could commit the US government to
actually 'do something." This "carefulness" at the State Department is
presently being widely reported in Washington by knowledgeable sources.
It is not yet certain that Powell will seek to avoid "doing
something"---will shirk the obligations the US must accept under the
Genocide Convention. But repeated comments from State Department
spokesmen Ereli and Boucher are hardly encouraging in their relentless
effort to diminish expectations about US obligations under the
Convention. This may of course be a means of downplaying the
consequences of a genocide determination, if it occurs; or it may be a
means of suggesting that the absence of a genocide determination would
not change US policy on Darfur.

Neither motivation is encouraging; nor is the statement of a senior US
official, speaking on background in late July, declaring that the only
firm US obligation "would be the responsibility to arrest a genocide
perpetrator if that person ventured onto US soil."

The issue of "genocidal intent" deserves particular attention, then,
since there can be no question that the sheer numbers of human beings
destroyed, displaced, and put at the acutest risk cross whatever
threshold is required to constitute the "part" stipulated in the
Genocide Convention: "In the present Convention, genocide means any of
the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in
part.... (Article 2). A powerful source of guidance here is the Appeals
Chamber of the International Tribunal for violations of international
law in the former Yugoslavia, in particular the case involving a review
of "Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic," Case No. IT-98-33-T); this
extraordinarily well-reasoned and lucid document can be found at:
http://www.un.org/icty/krstic/Appeal/judgement/index.htm). Speaking to
the issue of "quantity" or "substantiality," i.e., what constitutes a
"part," the Appeals Chamber noted:

"It is well established that where a conviction for genocide relies on
the intent to destroy a protected group [i.e., "national, ethnical,
racial or religious" group] 'in part,' the part must be a substantial
part of that group. [ ] The part targeted must be significant enough to
have an impact on the group as a whole." (Paragraph 8)

Citing Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term "genocide" (and was
instrumental in drafting the UN Genocide Convention) the Appeals Chamber
noted: "'the destruction in part must be of a substantial nature so as
to affect the entirety'" (Paragraph 10).

With 2 million people now internally displaced or refugees in Chad;
with more than 2 million people deeply affected by the war---hundreds of
thousands of whom are in desperate need of food, clean water, and
medical treatment---there can no question that "substantial parts" of
the Africa tribal populations of Darfur are victims of Khartoum's
"deliberately inflicting on [these groups] conditions of life
calculated to bring about their physical destruction." Moreover, there
have been huge numbers of civilian casualties: reports from the UN
Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial executions and the US-government
team on the Chad/Darfur border make clear that there have been at least
100,000 violent deaths. There have been perhaps as many as 100,000
additional casualties from the effects of malnutrition and disease (see
survey of mortality data by this writer, August 27, 2004; available upon
request).

There simply can be no question about whether "substantial parts" of
the African tribal populations in Darfur face the clear prospect of
deliberate destruction.

Nor finally can there be any intellectually cogent doubt about
genocidal "intent" in Darfur. This is especially clear when we look at
the Janjaweed militia which has been responsible for so much civilian
destruction, and which has been most clearly animated by a belief in the
"racial inferiority" of African tribal populations in Darfur. The
vicious Arab supremacist views espoused by the Janjaweed have been
actively encouraged by Khartoum, even as the regime has armed and
directed the Janjaweed, and coordinated with them militarily. Of
course, Khartoum continues to deny that the Janjaweed are a genocidal
instrument under its control, but this denial is wholly belied by the
facts.

Human Rights Watch reported in late July on clear evidence of
Khartoum's deliberate and systematic use of the Janjaweed for its own
purposes of racial/ethnic destruction ("Darfur Documents Confirm
Government Policy of Militia Support," July 20, 2004):

"Sudan Government documents incontrovertibly show that government
officials directed recruitment, arming and other support to the ethnic
militias known as the Janjaweed, Human Rights Watch said today. The
government of Sudan has consistently denied recruiting and arming the
Janjaweed militias."

"Human Rights Watch said it had obtained confidential documents from
the civilian administration in Darfur that implicate high-ranking
government officials in a policy of militia support. 'It's absurd to
distinguish between the Sudanese government forces and the
militias---they are one,' said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of
Human Rights Watch's Africa Division. 'These documents show that militia
activity has not just been
condoned, it's been specifically supported by Sudan government
officials.'"
("Darfur Documents Confirm Government Policy of Militia Support," July
20, 2004; at http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2004/07/20/darfur9095.htm)

How can there be any doubt that the violence and
racially/ethnically-animated civilian destruction on the part of the
Janjaweed reflects Khartoum's "intentions"? A more recent Human Rights
Watch report on the shared use of military camps by the Janjaweed and
Khartoum's regular forces also makes clear that the ambitions of
civilian destruction on the part of the Janjaweed are fully,
intentionally supported by Khartoum:

"The government of Sudan is permitting abusive Janjaweed militia to
maintain at least 16 camps in the western region of Darfur"; "despite
repeated government pledges to neutralize and disarm the Janjaweed,
Human Rights Watch investigators in West and North Darfur were able to
gather information on the militias' extensive network of bases";
"throughout the time Khartoum was supposedly reining in the
Janjaweed, these camps have been operating in plain sight,' said Peter
Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa division of Human Rights
Watch"; "five of the 16 camps, according to witnesses, are camps the
Janjaweed share with the Sudanese government army." ("Sudan: Janjaweed
Camps Still Active," Human Rights Watch [New York], August 27, 2004;
report available at:
http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2004/08/27/darfur9268.htm)

The question of genocidal "intent" was at the center of "Prosecutor v.
Radislav Krstic" (see above). A particularly important finding by the
Appeals Chamber was that while genocidal intent "must be supported by
the factual matrix, the offense of genocide does not require proof that
the perpetrator chose the most efficient method to accomplish his
objective of destroying the targeted part. Even where the method
selected will not implement the perpetrator's intent to the fullest,
leaving that destruction incomplete, this ineffectiveness alone does not
preclude a finding of genocidal intent" (Paragraph 32).

In short, there needn't be a Nazi-like efficiency in killing or
destroying, in whole or in part, the African peoples of Darfur. That
the methods previously and presently deployed by Khartoum will
accomplish enough to meet the "substantiality" criterion is all that
must be established for the purposes of finding that these methods may
constitute genocide.

In the subsequent Paragraph the Appeals Chamber review finds that
"genocidal intent may be inferred, among other facts, from evidence
of 'other culpable acts systematically directed against the same group'"
(Paragraph 33). In other words, Khartoum's "systematic" denial of
humanitarian access to the African populations of Darfur may be
considered in the context of the systematic destruction of African
villages (now numbering in the thousands); the systematic destruction of
African agricultural capacity (in the form of poisoning and blowing up
water wells and irrigations systems, and in the destruction of seeds,
fruit trees, agricultural implements, and critical agricultural
livestock); and the systematic and widespread practices of execution,
rape, abduction, and torture directed against the African populations of
Darfur.

The process of inferring genocidal intent from particular atrocities
(such as have been reported in great number, for example, by the
US-government investigating team, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty
International, and many others) is also illuminated in a discussion of
legal precedent by the Appeals Chamber review:

"Where direct evidence of genocidal intent is absent, the intent may
still be inferred from the factual circumstances of the crime. The
inference that a particular atrocity was motivated by genocidal intent
may be drawn, moreover, even where the individuals to whom the intent is
attributable are not precisely identified. If the crime committed
satisfied the other requirements of genocide, and if the evidence
supports the inference that the crime was motivated by the intent to
destroy, in whole in part, a protected group, a finding that genocide
has occurred may be entered." (Paragraph 34)

We need not know the particular perpetrators of individual atrocities
to reach a finding of genocide. But to the degree that various such
genocidal atrocities can be tied to specific individuals (in the
Janjaweed command structure, or in the intelligence, military, or
political structure of Khartoum's National Islamic Front regime), this
becomes cumulative evidence of responsibility for genocide.

ACCELERATING AND UNIMPEDED VIOLENCE

Fighting in Darfur presently shows all signs of escalating, with
civilians again the inevitable victims. Associated Press reports:

"A United Nations spokeswoman said Sunday the world body keeps
receiving reports of clashes continuing throughout Sudan's Darfur
region, where up to 4,000 people [in the el-Fashir area of North Darfur]
are believed to have been forced from their villages in recent days."
(Associated Press, September 5, 2004)

The Los Angeles Time reports that:

"Some survivors of the latest atrocities in the south Darfur region
have trickled into the Kalma camp for displaced persons outside Nyala
[South Darfur State] in recent days. Aid officials report that about
1,000 families--more than 5,000 people---are still making their way to
the camp." (Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2004)

The African Union has fully confirmed recent attacks by Khartoum's
regular forces on civilian villages, including Yassin (near Nyala), and
the use of helicopter gunships and Antonov bombers in these attacks.

According to UN reports, Internally Displaced Persons in the Riyad and
Mornei camps have "reacted violently to Government of Sudan pressure to
relocate or participate in pro-government activities" (Fact Sheet #21,
"Darfur---Humanitarian Emergency," US Agency for International
Development, September 3, 2004). This and other reports strongly
suggest that despite promises made to Jan Pronk and Kofi Annan, Khartoum
is pursuing its policy of forced expulsions from camps for the
displaced.

This occurs against a backdrop of peace talks in Abuja (Nigeria),
between Khartoum and the Darfur insurgency groups, that are fully
stalemated over security issues. At the same time, Khartoum has told
the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) that "north/south"
peace talks are suspended. An SPLA delegation sent to Khartoum to
discuss the resumption of peace talks was ominously informed that there
would be no further negotiations to complete the Naivasha (Kenya) peace
agreement until "the Darfur problem is settled."

Though the European Union is making vague noises about its own
sanctions (it is palpably clear that the UN will not act), Khartoum's
response has been dismissive contempt---all too justified by
longstanding European acquiescence in the face of Khartoum's genocidal
ambitions.

The regime is also thwarting the work of the African Union observer
force, which augurs extremely poorly for the deployment of a large and
effective AU peacekeeping force---the default "solution" for an
international community lacking in both resolve and moral clarity. The
Telegraph (UK) offers some telling details of how the regime's military
operates with impunity, even as it denies the AU observers fuel for
critical helicopter transport:

"The troops were ready, the mission decided and the flight crew was
standing by, but the African Union ceasefire monitors still lacked one
vital element. 'The Sudanese say there is no fuel,' said one of the
soldiers waiting to board. 'They say there's a fuel problem whenever
they want to keep us on the ground. They don't want us to see. It's a
big ceasefire violation.'"

"Hours later, as a Sudanese army attack helicopter came in to land, its
own mission complete, the 'shortage' was suddenly resolved. Fuel trucks
that had sat all the while on the other side of the fence lumbered
towards the aircraft, chartered to carry the troops on observation
missions across the region."

The dispatch goes on to report "a pattern of obstruction by Sudanese
officials. 'We're always fighting about these fuel issues,' said William
Molokwane, a South African intelligence officer. 'We are supposed to
know about these Sudanese movements, attack helicopters flying in and
out of the airport, troops moving out of the city.'"

"'They're not acting in good faith,' said Col Anthony Amedoh, the
Ghanaian chief military observer. 'There are many clear ceasefire
violations by the Sudanese government but we can't stop them, we can
just report them.' Even when the Sudanese are caught in the act, the AU
observers are powerless to stop them. In Nyala, the biggest city in
Darfur, a Nigerian observer reported that his team saw Sudanese
government soldiers fighting alongside the Janjaweed militia at a large
refugee camp. 'We caught them fighting together red-handed,' he said.
His team could do nothing, however." (The Telegraph [UK], September 5,
2004; dateline al-Fasher military airfield)

DARFUR'S HOLOCAUST

Genocide, both through rapid violence and accelerating attrition from
disease and malnutrition, is continuing throughout Darfur. The vast
body of evidence could not be clearer in its implications. There is no
"genocide determination" to be made; only a decision, finally
political, about whether to speak the truth about what is occurring in
Darfur.

We cannot know the number who have died in this holocaust, but there
are compelling statistical reasons for assuming a present figure of over
200,000 (see reference to mortality analysis above). Most of these
people have died, and will continue to die, invisibly---beyond the view
of an international community that does not care enough to stop the
genocide. Even the records of deaths are being destroyed, as a Los
Angeles Times dispatch painfully reported yesterday (September 6, 2004):


"When the mosque at Yassin village was burned by Arab militias more
than a week ago, there was no way to save four frail old men who died in
the flames. A list of 485 dead from the surrounding area, painstakingly
collected by local people over two months, burned in the mosque too,
village leaders said." (Los Angeles Times, September 6, 2004)

458 dead in just the Yassin village area alone: just how credible is
the UN figure of 30,000-50,000 deaths for all of the immense Darfur
region, over 19 months of extreme violence, displacement, and trauma?
The gross understatement of civilian deaths, as well as the growing but
unspoken mismatch between desperate humanitarian need and foreseeable
humanitarian capacity, suggests that for all the urgent talk about
Darfur, truth is a commodity not always valued.

But one truth that now stands beyond dispute. Khartoum will not cease
to commit genocide until the international community stops it. This
requires urgent humanitarian intervention, with robust military support.
Even the contemplated African Union force of 2,000 to 3,000
peacekeepers is woefully inadequate to the task. (Khartoum adamantly
refuses to accept any force with a peacekeeping mandate.) A
peacekeeping/peace-making force will require more than ten times this
number if it is to halt genocide in Darfur.

The question is, as it has been for so many months now, whether the
world is serious about stopping genocide in Darfur. There is no present
evidence to suggest that this is the case. If Colin Powell refuses, out
of political expediency, to determine that deliberate,
racially/ethnically-animated human destruction is genocide, then we will
have what should prove the defining evidence of our refusal, yet again,
to stop genocide in Africa.

Eric Reeves
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

ereeves@smith.edu


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