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Sudan killings in Darfur not genocide, says UN report (FT-FINANCIAL TIMES) By Mark Turner at the United Nations 02/01/05)Source: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/f5db7b76-73e8-11d9-b705-00000e2511c8.html FT} FINANCIAL TIMES FT} FINANCIAL TIMES Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
A United Nations investigation into killings in Sudan´s Darfur region has ruled that Khartoum did not pursue a policy of “genocide”, but had committed “serious violations” of international law, which should be referred to the International Criminal Court.

The long-awaited report, which follows a conclusion by the US that the killings did amount to genocide, said two elements of genocide may arguably have existed that of widespread killing, and the targeting of a particular group. But it said that “the crucial element of genocidal intent appears to missing, at least as far as the central government authorities are concerned”.

Instead, the commission of inquiry said the government and the Janjaweed militia were responsible for “serious violations of international . . . law”, on a widespread and systematic basis, which could amount to “crimes against humanity”.

But the commission added: “The conclusion that no genocidal policy had been pursued should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes.” Only a court could determine whether specific individuals, including government officials, may have committed acts with “genocidal intent”.

The report, released yesterday, comes as the UN Security Council engages in tough discussions on whether to impose sanctions on Sudan, and how to punish the perpetrators.

The commission said it had identified likely suspects, including government officials, militia, rebels and “certain foreign army officers acting in their personal capacity”. It also “strongly recommended” the Security Council refer the situation to the International Criminal Court a move likely to annoy the US which opposes the ICC. It proposes instead a new ad hoc war crimes tribunal in Tanzania.

The news also came amid growing concern that the UK and the UN may have been too quick last week to condemn a recent bombing of a village in Darfur, which allegedly killed 100 people.

Officials now say the African Union recently gained access to the village and found no evidence of an aerial bombardment which would have constituted a ceasefire violation. (© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2005. 02/01/05)


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