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GENOCIDE PREVENTION: The Role of Bystanders in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur. Studium Generale, Maastricht University, 21 September 2011 Fred Grünfeld. University of Maastricht, Faculty of Law, Department International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

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Genocide prevention the role of bystanders in rwanda srebrenica and darfur l.jpg

GENOCIDE PREVENTION: The Role of Bystanders in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur

Studium Generale, Maastricht University, 21 September 2011

Fred Grünfeld


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  • University of Maastricht, Faculty of Law, Department International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • University of Utrecht, Faculty of Humanities, Centre for Conflict Studies, School of Human Rights Research.

  • Chair of Pioom, Interdisciplinary Projects for the Study of Root Causes of Human Rights Violations, on the Causes of Gross Human Rights Violations

  • Financially supported by the Horstman Foundation, Leader in the Dutch Resistance movement during the Second World War.


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OUTLINE International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • 1. What is Genocide ?

  • 2. What/who is the Bystander ?

  • 3. Failure of Bystanders in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur.

  • 4. Faces of Genocide - Survivors


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Levels of GHRV International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

Scale 1: no political repression, rule of law

Scale 2: some political activists face imprisonment (few affected)

Scale 3: detention without trial takes place, arbitrary arrests, political imprisonment and murders

Scale 4: severe repression by murder, torture and disappearances for political opponents, but violence still mainly against political opinion

Scale 5: whole population faces the most severe repression, no limits on the means to pursue personal/ideological goals


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Conflict Intensity International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

High-Intensity Conflict: armed conflict causing more than 1000 deaths per year

Low-Intensity Conflict: armed conflict causing between 100-1000 deaths per year

Violent Political Conflict: armed conflict causing less than 100 deaths per year


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Gross Human Rights Violations International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Genocide

  • Crimes against Humanity

  • War Crimes (IHL)

  • Disappearances

  • Torture

  • Ethnic Cleansing

  • Widespread and systematic rape (now recognized as a ‘weapon of war’; also punishable as Genocide following decisions at the ICTR)


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Legal Distinctions International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

Genocide:

…any of the following acts committed withintent to destroy, inwhole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,as such:

  • Killing;

  • Causing serious bodily or mental harm;

  • Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction;

  • Imposing measures intended to prevent births;

  • Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

(Article 6 Rome Statute)


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Destruction International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Genocide is the deliberate destruction of a specific group

  • Destruction because of their birth, their existence, their being

  • Not because of their views, opinions or actions


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Raphael Lemkin 1900-1959 International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • GENOS means in Greek ‘race’ or ‘tribe’

  • CIDE means in Latin ‘killing’

  • Churchill: Crimes without a name

  • Crime of all Crimes, the most serious


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Deliberate annihilation International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Genocide is the deliberate, planned and systematic annihilation of a specific group of people:

    • SPECIFIC GROUP

    • BY THE STATE

    • WITH INTENT

      Politicide refers to political opponents (democide both but excluding war)


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Five stages of Repression by Hilberg International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Shutting off the supply of information for all outsiders

  • Restricting participation to those with knowledge

  • Prohibiting criticism by outsiders

  • Absence of public talk of process of repression and destruction

  • Killings but using euphimism (final solution, auf Transport nach Osten)


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  • Article 2: International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Genocide 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:

  • ( 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.


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definitions of genocide International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • "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 perpetrator." Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn

  • "the mass killing of substantial numbers of human beings ... under conditions of the essential defenselessness and helplessness of the victims." Israel Charny

  • "sustained purposeful action by a perpetrator to physically destroy a collectivity directly or indirectly, through interdiction of the biological and social reproduction of group members, sustained regardless of the surrender or lack of threat offered by the victim." Helen Fein

  • "the promotion and execution of policies by a state or its agents which result in the deaths of a substantial portion of a group ...[when] the victimized groups are defined primarily in terms of their communal characteristics, i.e., ethnicity, religion or nationality." Barbara Harff and Ted Gurr

  • “Genocide is not extreme war or conflict; it is extreme exclusion. Exclusion may start with name-calling, but may end with a group of people being excluded from a society to the point where they are destroyed.” James M. Smith


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GENOCIDE CONVENTION International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Article 3:

  • The following acts shall be punishable:

  • ( a ) Genocide;

  • ( b ) Conspiracy to commit genocide;

  • ( c ) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

  • ( d ) Attempt to commit genocide;

  • ( e ) Complicity in genocide.


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Seven stages by Lecomte International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • 1. definition of the target group

  • 2. registration of the victims

  • 3. designation of the victims

  • 4. confiscation of goods

  • 5. exclusion from working activities

  • 6. systematic isolation

  • 7. mass extermination

  • All stages in the Holocaust and in Rwanda


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Holocaust Studies and Genocide Studies International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Un-precendented and Total

  • Exterminalist anti-semitism

  • As paradigme

  • Repeated but also in part

  • War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity

  • Victim oriented or perspective of perpetrator and bystander included of societal transformation (Weimar, 30s)


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Eight Stages of Genocide by Stanton International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Classification – us and them

  • Symbolization – yellow star of David

  • Dehumanization – hate radio

  • Organization – special army units

  • Polarization – silencing the moderate

  • Preparation – separation of the victims

  • Extermination – mass killing, genocide

  • Denial – cover up evidence


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Denial of Genocide International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Armenian Genocide

  • Nowadays Politics

  • More than 90 years ago


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Genocides in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Darfur International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

Why did the international bystanders fail to act to prevent or to stop the genocides in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur?

In what way would the international bystander have been able to act with the available instruments?

Why were all the warnings not translated into action or, more precisely, what are the reasons for non-action or the ineffectiveness of the action that was undertaken?


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C International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht. Bystanders

The Atrocity Triangle

A Perpetrators

B Victims


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Each case International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • 1. WARNINGS

  • 2. INSTRUMENTS

  • 3. DECISION-MAKING


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DARFUR International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.


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DEATH TOLL International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • Rwanda 1994 800,000 in 100 days = 8,000 a day

  • Srebrenica 1995 8,000 in 5 days = 1,600 a day

  • Darfur 2003-2010 300,000 in 2555 days = 117 a day


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RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

1: Before

Prevent

2: During

React

3: After

Rebuild


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EARLY WARNING International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.


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NEVER AGAIN International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • EARLY WARNING DOES NOT LEAD AUTOMATICALLY TO EARLY ACTION OR ANY ACTION

  • AT THE MOMENT WHEN DECISIONS ARE MADE, PREVIOUS NEVER AGAINS ARE FORGOTTEN


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WARNINGS + INSTRUMENTS International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht.

  • BOTH IN RWANDA AND IN SREBRENICA AND IN DARFUR:

  • WARMINGS WERE AVAILABLE

  • INSTRUMENTS WERE AVAILABLE

  • THIRD PARTIES (BYSTANDERS) COULD HAVE PREVENTED IN BOTH CASES THE GENOCIDE


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C International Law, Maastricht Centre of Human Rights and University College Maastricht. Bystanders

The Atrocity Triangle

A Perpetrators

B Victims


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The bystander:the third party that will not act or that will not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

AFTERWARD FOUR ROLES:

PERPETRATORS AND VICTIMS

COLLABORATORS AND RESCUERS IN THE END


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DVD not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • The Faces of Genocide 20 minutes


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MAIN CONCLUSIONS ON Warning IN RWANDA 1. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • HATE PROPAGANDA PRIOR TO GENOCIDE PUNISHED AS INCENTIVE TO GENOCIDE

  • WEAKER MANDATE UNAMIR THAN NEEDED BECAUSE OF FEASABILITY

  • OUTSPOKEN RELIABLE EARLY WARNINGS NOT FORWARDED TO SC

  • ANY DECISION-MAKING BY SC WAS PRECLUDED

    ‘the withholding of this information from the members of the security council by the un bureaucracy precluded any security council decision in this field’.


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AVAILABLE INSTRUMENTS IN RWANDA 2. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • THE OPTION TO LINK THE EVACUATION FORCE WITH UNAMIR WAS NOT CONSIDERED IN ANY WESTERN CAPITAL OR AT THE UN.

  • RIZA – UN TOP OFFICIAL - WAS NOT PREPARED ON APRIL 14 TO PROPOSE AN ENFORCEMENT POWER TO SC (DUTCH ARCHIVES).

  • SC VOTED UNANIMOUSLY FOR FORCE REDUCTION TO 270 PERSONS ON April 21.


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CONTINUING MAIN CONCLUSIONS 3. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • DOMINATING TRUST IN PRESIDENT AND PEACE PROCESS

  • SHIFT IN PERCECEPTION NEEDED

  • FROM PROMOTING PEACE TO EMERGING GENOCIDE


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MAIN CONCLUSIONS ON WARNING IN SREBRENICA 1. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • In May 2005 SC Members and UN Officials knew about intended Serbian Attack but they did not share this information with the Dutch.

  • A preventative military enforcement attack was excluded by the UN and the major powers

  • No SC debate on maintaining safe area Srebrenica


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AVAILABLE INSTRUMENTS IN SREBRENICA 2. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • NORDIC peacekeepers successful with tanks to deter Serbian aggressor in safe area at Tuzla.

  • DUTCH peacekeepers not only missed military enforcement power but they did not try in any way to deter or resist Serbian aggression.

  • NATO AIR support was available but not used at the moment of the attack on Srebrenica.


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LESSONS LEARNED not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • RECOGNITION OF ANNAN OF MISTAKES IN PERCEPTION IN 2004 (CHANGING MINDS)

  • CHAPTER VII MEASURES (USE OF FORCE AUTHORIZED) WHEN ‘national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations from genocide’ sept.05

  • INVOLVEMENT OF SC WITH GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS HAS INCREASED TREMENDOUSLY


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R2P not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • Sovereignty (STATE SOVEREIGNTY NOT AS A BARRIER BUT AS A RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT ITS PEOPLE):

  • 1.PROTECT OWN POPULATION

  • 2.HELP GOVERNMENTS TO PROTECT OWN POPULATION

  • 3.COLLECTIVE ACTION, EXTREEM NEED AND LACK OF WILL (RESPONSIBILITY TO REACT, HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION, CHAPTER VII DECISIONS)


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INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.26 February 2007

CASE CONCERNING THE APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE

PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE

(BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA v. SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO)


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Obligations to prevent not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • it is clear that the obligation to prevent is one of conduct and not one of result. The obligation of States parties is rather to employ all means reasonably available to them, so as to prevent genocide so far as possible.

  • A State does not incur responsibility simply because the desired result is not achieved; responsibility is however incurred if the State manifestly failed to take all measures to prevent genocide which were within its power, and which might have contributed to preventing the genocide.(430)


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Prevention – awareness of danger not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • a State may be found to have violated its obligation to prevent even though it had no certainty, at the time when it should have acted, but failed to do so, that genocide was about to be committed or was under way;

  • it is enough that the State was aware, or should normally have been aware, of the serious danger that acts of genocide would be committed.(432)


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Duty to act not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • a State’s obligation to prevent, and the corresponding duty to act, arise at the instant that the State learns of, or should normally have learned of, the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed.(431) (see art. 8 for UN)


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DARFUR, CONFLICT CHARACTERISTICS not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

PRIORITY FOR NORT-SOUTH CONFLICT SUDAN

GENOCIDE OR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

STRONG PUBLIC OPINION


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WARNINGS FROM THE START 1. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • UN RAPPORTEUR, KAPILA’S ROLE

  • UN HEAD HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS

  • NGOs

  • USA INQUIRY, LABELING GENOCIDE, SEPTEMBER 2004


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INSTRUMENTS DARFUR 2. not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • DIPLOMACY CEASE FIRE

  • ARMS EMBARGO

  • AFRICAN PEACE KEEPERS, EU FORCE in CHAD, UN PEACE KEEPERS

  • NO NO-FLY ZONE, NO SEIZURE OF WEAPONS

  • ECONOMIC SANCTIONS

  • PROSECUTION, BASHIR TRAVELS


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MAIN CONCLUSIONS ON DARFUR 3 not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION IN SC BUT NO ACTION AT THE START – PREVENTION FAILED - AND WEAK DECISIONS LATER

  • INCREASING CONFUSING SITUATION, good versus bad, international conflict Chad and CAR

  • STRONG INTERNATIONAL POSITION OF SUDAN, China 80% oil, Russia weapons, US intelligence

  • SMART LEADERS, giving impression of cooperation but in fact doing the opposite, strong power position.


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DARFUR not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.


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ALL CASES not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

  • We did not Know. No, because Information was clear, reliable and available. Enough Early and later Warnings.

  • We were not able to act. No, because Instruments in soldiers and equipment were available to prevent or stop.

  • Failures. Perhaps decision-making, political power, indifference?


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CONCLUDING QUOTE not attempt to act in solidarity with the victims of gross human rights violations.

The bystanders at the state level and at the international level did not act in solidarity with the victims. They did not attempt to rescue.

Evaluating afterwards, we may conclude that these bystanders turned into collaborators who facilitated the genocidaires by not acting against continuing atrocities.

Nowadays Ivory Coast, Lybia, Egypt, Syria ?