Genocide. What it is, Where it is happening, and How you can STOP it…. The Causes of Genocide. Genocide Defined ….
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What it is, Where it is happening, and How you can STOP it…
A form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are defined by the perpetrators.- By Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonasson
Genocide has to consist of acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. –Genocide Convention
Who: The conflict in Darfur is between two major ethnic groups: the Arab Northerners (Janjaweed militia) and the southern non-Arab Africans
Where:The civil war is taking place in western Sudan, primarily concentrated in Darfur
When: The conflict began in February of 2003
Why: Although portrayed by the media as a racial and religious dispute, the war is based on: “competition between farmers and nomadic cattle herders who compete for scarce resources”
Origins of the Conflict:
-Who: (non-Arab) Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa Vs. (Arab) Baggara
-Arabs and Zaghawa are nomadic herdsmen
-The Fur and Masalit peoples are agriculturalists
What does this all mean?
Disputes over access to land and water
“Janjaweed shares the hatred towards Darfur’s farmers and is in favor of exterminating them in order to selfishly gain control of their land.”
The Rwandan Genocide
The Sudanese Conflict
The Genocide Convention, unlike most other human rights treaties, doesn't establish an expert committee, or an organization to monitor its provisions. Instead, it allows any country that is party to the Convention to ask the relevant parts of the UN to take appropriate action (according to the UN Charter) to prevent or stop acts of genocide.
Reflection of Rwanda: Kofi Annan
“One of the reasons for our failure in Rwanda was that beforehand we did not face the fact that genocide was a real possibility. And once it started, for too long we could not bring ourselves to recognize it, or call it by its name.
If we are serious about preventing or stopping genocide in future, we must not be held back by legalistic arguments about whether a particular atrocity meets the definition of genocide or not. By the time we are certain, it may often be too late to act. We must recognize the signs of approaching or possible genocide, so that we can act in time to avert it.
Mr. Chairman, such reports leave me with a deep sense of foreboding. Whatever terms it uses to describe the situation, the international community cannot stand idle.”
Berndt and Muse: “Talk that does not foresee action and look forward to consequences is just a game or a pleasant pastime or an intellectual exercise.”
On October 21st, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Sudan Peace Act, which under Federal Law, condemned the Sudanese Government for acts of Genocide.
To find out more about what you can do to STOPgenocide, visit the following websites, or speak with one of the members of the peer teaching group.