Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Inaction Breeds Death in Darfur

Prepared by: Michael Moran

When Kurds took de facto control of northern Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, among the discoveries made were the taped remarks of Ali Hassan al-Majid, aka “Chemical Ali,” just before he ordered the gassing of rebellious locals. “I will kill them all with chemical weapons!” al-Majid railed. “Who is going to say anything? The international community? F*** them.” As columnist Nick Cohen notes in The Observer, recent events in Sudan suggest such disdain for international law may be as valid as ever.

In spite of UN Security Council decisions to deploy peacekeepers to Sudan’s Darfur region, in spite of a U.S. government finding that “genocide” is taking place there, and President Bush’s call at the UN General Assembly in September for immediate action, not much has changed. As CFR’s chief Africa expert Princeton Lyman notes: “We always thought that if something was finally designated as genocide it would trigger the Genocide Convention and the international community would have to act,” he told CFR.org’s Bernard Gwertzman. “What we’re finding is that in itself doesn’t define what has to be done or what can be done.”Read more >>>

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