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Darfur: What Is Happening, What Can We Do

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Darfur: What Is Happening, What Can We Do

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Powerpoint presentation by Karen Hirschfeld, Sudan Coordinator, Physicians for Human Rights. Includes background on the conflict, PHR's findings concerning genocide, information on sexual violence, life in IDP camps, and policy recommendations.

Powerpoint presentation by Karen Hirschfeld, Sudan Coordinator, Physicians for Human Rights. Includes background on the conflict, PHR's findings concerning genocide, information on sexual violence, life in IDP camps, and policy recommendations.

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Darfur: What Is Happening, What Can We Do

  1. 1. Darfur>> What is happening What can we do Photo: Jerry Fowler, Committee on Conscience
  2. 2. Who We Are, What We Do <ul><li>Physicians for Human Rights mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice and promotes the right to health for all. Investigations </li></ul><ul><li>International Forensic Program </li></ul><ul><li>Asylum Network </li></ul><ul><li>Campaigns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Health Action AIDS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Darfur Survival Campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign Against Torture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health and Justice for Youth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign to Ban Landmines </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Zeinab’s Story
  4. 4. 300,000-500,000 Dead
  5. 5. Up to 90% of Non-Arab Darfurian Villages D estroyed Photo: Anthony Njguna for Reuters
  6. 6. Over 2.8 million displaced Photo: Jerry Fowler, Committee on Conscience
  7. 7. Hundreds of thousands remain at risk of disease and malnutrition Photo: Jerry Fowler
  8. 8. Setting the Scene Maps: Public Broadcasting Service Darfur, meaning land of the Fur, is the size of Texas It is bordered by Chad, Libya and the Central African Republic North - sandy desert, South - bush forest
  9. 9. Sudan at a glance <ul><li>Population: 39,148,162 Capital: Khartoum President: Omer Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir (Arab) came to power in a coup in 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnic groups: 52% black, 39% Arab,6% Beja (nomadic tribesmen), 4% foreigners and others Major religions: Islam (mainly Sunni in the north); indigenous beliefs, mostly Christian in the south (some Christians in Khartoum) </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Conflict: N-S war raged from 1985-2004 </li></ul>
  10. 10. President Omer al-Bashir <ul><li>While in the army – in charge of military operations against south </li></ul><ul><li>Took power in a military coup in ‘89 </li></ul><ul><li>Promoted a fundamentalist Islamic state – declaring sharia law </li></ul><ul><li>Harbored Osama bin Laden and other Islamic fundamentalists </li></ul><ul><li>Named “World’s Worst Dictator” by PARADE MAGAZINE two years in a row </li></ul>
  11. 11. Khartoum Ascendant Khartoum is booming.
  12. 12. Darfur <ul><li>Population: approx 6.5 million (4 million non-Arabs, 2.5 million Arabs) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Arab African tribes: Fur, Zaghawa, Masalit (3 largest tribes) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly settled farmers who have animals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Arab tribes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly nomadic herders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Islam is the main religion </li></ul>
  13. 13. Roots of the Conflict <ul><li>INTERNATIONAL: </li></ul><ul><li>Interference by Libya, Chad </li></ul><ul><li>NATIONAL: </li></ul><ul><li>Long history of neglect by Khartoum </li></ul><ul><li>Ruling elite in Khartoum feel that Arabs are racially and culturally superior to non-Arabs </li></ul><ul><li>REGIONAL: </li></ul><ul><li>Famine in 1984-5 – 95,000 died </li></ul><ul><li>Dwindling natural resources – decreased rainfall, desertification, less area for planting and grazing </li></ul><ul><li>Local groups begin arming selves </li></ul>
  14. 14. www.edcnews.se Early 2000s: The GoS began to arm and support Arab militias. They became known as the Janjaweed.
  15. 15. Spring, 2003: The two main rebel groups, the SLA and JEM, attack gov’t outposts in northern Darfur Instead of negotiating, army Janjaweed counter with a scorched-earth response.
  16. 16. Government Response: Attacks on Villages
  17. 17. PHR Set Out to Document the Violence and Destruction <ul><li>Qualitative study </li></ul><ul><li>3 trips to Darfur/Chad border between May 2004 and July 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewed refugees from Darfur’s 3 main ethnic groups </li></ul><ul><li>Zaghawa from Furawiya in Oure Cassoni camp </li></ul><ul><li>Masalit from Terbeba in Treging and Bredjing camps </li></ul><ul><li>Fur from Bendisi in Djabal camp </li></ul>
  18. 18. Darfurians have developed complex systems to survive in these difficult conditions <ul><li>All families owned plots of land and cultivated crops </li></ul><ul><li>Families stored sacks of grains and seeds to survive during periods of drought </li></ul><ul><li>People communally owned livestock, which provided food and transportation, and could also be used as disposable income </li></ul><ul><li>The market served as a place to buy and trade goods </li></ul><ul><li>ALL OF THESE WERE DESTROYED IN THE ATTACKS </li></ul>
  19. 19. Land Scorched
  20. 20. Community Destroyed
  21. 21. Bomb crater left by GoS Aircraft Crater left by bomb dropped by Government military aircraft
  22. 22. Russian Artillery
  23. 23. Livestock Killed and Stolen
  24. 24. Documenting Destruction of Livelihoods <ul><li>57% faced dehydration/food shortage during flight </li></ul><ul><li>54% reported being attacked by the Janjaweed as they fled </li></ul><ul><li>Average household size went from 12.1 to 6.7 </li></ul><ul><li>40% of women were raped or sexually assaulted </li></ul><ul><li>33% of women were widowed </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of respondents reported the complete loss of livestock (cows, camels, donkeys, goats, chickens) farmland, homes and possessions. </li></ul><ul><li>In many cases, respondents reported the complete devastation of their villages, with houses, mosques, markets and schools burned to the ground, and fields destroyed </li></ul>
  25. 25. Prevent and Punish….Genocide <ul><li>After the Second World war, with a solemn vow to never again let a crime like the Holocaust happen, the world formed the United Nations. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1948, the United Nations passed the Convention on the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide vowing to both prevent and punish the crime of genocide (it entered into force in 1951) </li></ul>
  26. 26. PHR Used Article 2c of Genocide Convention to determine that Genocide is occurring in Darfur: <ul><li>Article II: G enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.  </li></ul>
  27. 27. Conditions Which May Constitute Genocide Under Art. II(c) (Int’l Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) <ul><li>Starvation or subsistence diet </li></ul><ul><li>Systematically expelling people from their homes </li></ul><ul><li>Withholding sufficient living accommodations </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing essential medical services below the minimum requirement </li></ul><ul><li>Rape </li></ul><ul><li>All of these are occurring in Darfur </li></ul>
  28. 29. Genocidal Intent: Direct Evidence <ul><li>Terbeba (Masalit, West Darfur) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We will exterminate the Nuba” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ This land is for the Arabs, not blacks“ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Bendisi (Fur, southern West Darfur) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Exterminate the Nuba” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The Nuba must be destroyed” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Exterminate the Fur, kill the Fur” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We have to kill them” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Furawiya (Zaghawa, North Darfur) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Time to get rid of all blacks in Darfur” </li></ul></ul>
  29. 30. Genocidal Intent: Indirect Evidence <ul><li>Perpetrator’s knowledge of local environmental conditions, combined with systematic destruction of all that can sustain life: foodstocks, animals, wells, crops, housing, medical facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Preventing aid from reaching survivors </li></ul><ul><li>Fleeing survivors are attacked </li></ul><ul><li>Massive scale of atrocities, systematic manner of killings </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent claims of derogatory language towards targeted group </li></ul><ul><li>Only non-Arab groups are targeted </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency across time, place, and different ethnic groups </li></ul>
  30. 31. Life in Refugee Camps in Chad and IDP Camps in Sudan Photo: Jerry Fowler
  31. 32. Photo: National Geographic Farmers are now dependent upon international food aid
  32. 33. Thousands of women have been raped while leaving camps to collect firewood
  33. 34. Victims Require Compensation: International Law Recognizes Five Forms <ul><li>Restitution: restoration of property </li></ul><ul><li>Rehabilitation: access to medical, legal, and psychological services necessary to restore well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Compensation: monetary compensation for damages, e.g ., destroyed homes, lost livestock, compensation for suffering </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfaction: enforceable ceasefire, mechanisms to acknowledged abuses and hold perpetrators accountable </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantees of non-repetition: sufficiently enforceable to enable victims to return home without fear of continued abuse </li></ul>
  34. 35. Current Situation <ul><li>Approximately 7,000 African Union (AU) Peacekeepers on the ground </li></ul><ul><li>Darfur Peace Agreement signed May 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>UN Security Council Resolution passed August 31, 2006 calling for a UN force of 20,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Sudan refuses to allow a UN force </li></ul><ul><li>Security situation deteriorating – aid groups evacuating </li></ul><ul><li>Rebel groups have fractured, rebels are also guilty of attacks on civilians </li></ul><ul><li>On-going investigation of crimes by the ICC </li></ul>
  35. 36. Obstacles to Progress <ul><li>Sudan views actions of international community as empty threats </li></ul><ul><li>China and Russia, powerful members of the Security Council, are allies of Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>US has its own internal interests in Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>US preoccupied with situation in Iraq </li></ul><ul><li>Arab countries are protecting Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>Little interest in the European Union </li></ul>
  36. 37. What Can/Should be Done <ul><li>An international (preferably UN) peacekeeping force of at least 20,000 should be deployed to protect civilians </li></ul><ul><li>Sanctions should be put on the GoS until they submit to a UN force </li></ul><ul><li>The International Criminal Court should continue its investigations into crimes </li></ul><ul><li>We should continue to support the provision of humanitarian assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Special mechanisms should be put in place to protect women from sexual violence </li></ul>
  37. 38. What You Can Do <ul><li>Tell Bush to make ending genocide in Darfur a priority </li></ul><ul><li>Write to your member of Congress and tell them to continue funding humanitarian assistance and peacekeeping operations in Darfur </li></ul><ul><li>Make connections with students worldwide </li></ul>
  38. 39. Educate Yourself Actions: www.physiciansforhumanrights.org www.genocideintervention.net, www.standnow.org News: www.reliefweb.int, www.sudantribune.com www.sudanreeves.org Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times Charles Bakst, The Providence Journal Books: Prunier, Gerald: “Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide” Flint, J. and de Waal, A.: “A Short History of a Long War” Divestment: www.sudandivestment.org, www.fidelityoutofsudan.org
  39. 40. www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

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