Sudan killings in Darfur not genocide, says UN report (FT-FINANCIAL TIMES) By Mark Turner at the United Nations 02/01/05)
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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
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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