Dread Abuses of Human RightsThe dreadful state-sanctioned mass rapes, murders and abandonment of farms and villages by desperate Darfurians under attack by the Sudanese military, strafed by war planes and helicopter gunships, and cleansed of their populations by the Janjaweed, the Arab horsemen who threatened and slaughtered black Sudanese Darfurians has abated in the minds of the public. There are no longer stories on the front pages of Western newspapers writing of the mass atrocities.
Hundreds of thousands of Darfurians were made homeless and fled to refugee camps, and even there, where they were living in great deprivation of the basics of human survival they were vulnerable to the depredations of the Janjaweed. Since that time, Sudan is a smaller country. The black-populated south, which had agitated and conducted rebel war against the Arab north of the country for decades, finally achieved the independence they sought, and recognition from the international community at the United Nations.
Khartoum invests time and money in training and arming rebels to harass the South Sudan. Disagreements over territorial lines dividing the oil fields that provide Khartoum with wealth have not yet been finally settled, since South Sudan claims them as part of their own territory. Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir was the first head of state charged and convicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
He appears at Arab League gatherings with impunity; none of his fellow Muslim leaders the least bit interested in respecting the findings of the ICC, let alone holding him to account for the crimes he committed in Darfur, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, the rapes, the ethnic cleansing. "We are awash in information about Darfur ... No genocide has been so thoroughly documented while it was taking place. Yet the genocide continues. We document what we do not stop. How could we have known so much and done so little?" anguished Richard Just in The New Republic.
The public has notoriously short memories. There are so many conflicts, so much atrocity, so much bloody butchering going on in the world, we stumble from one to another, appalled and miserable at discovering just how horribly grotesque situations become when tribal, ethnic, religious conflicts are involved. One incident occurs, and we collectively shudder, then another erupts, and then another, unendingly. The Middle East, the Near East and Africa, connected by their common religion and its jihadist mentality erupt constantly in conflict and brutality.
Darfur remains an unanswered dilemma of dreadful proportions that has not yet been solved. But it is not the only one for the government of Sudan, unperturbed by the universal condemnation that accompanied its Darfurian solution. It battles insurgencies of the oppressed on many fronts and launched another atrocity in the Nuba Mountains bordering South Sudan. An expert familiar with the violence, estimates that 100,000 children and youth from age 18 and younger have died since 2003.
Khartoum has attacked villages with Antonov bombers, augmented by government-supported militias, creating a situation of starvation and disease. The carnage that occurred in Darfur is continuing in other parts of Sudan. In response to rebellion by oppressed people, government planes bomb villages where the residents flee to caves and keep themselves alive by eating the seeds they had set aside for the following year's crops.
In January of 2012, U.S. envoy to Sudan, Princeton Lyman, informed reporters that a half-million people face emergency conditions associated with famine. Nine months later the same envoy reported again that "indiscriminate aerial bombardment and targeting of civilians which is causing tremendous human suffering and displacement" continues to occur. Although sporadic attempts have been undertaken to bring food into some areas under attack, the government of Sudan has denied access.
Where is the international community's conscience on this file? The outraged condemnation, leading to diplomatic, economic, humanitarian and military interventions to bring a stop to the atrocities conducted by the government of Sudan? Where is the United Nations, and its creature-for-conscience, the Human Rights Council?
Outrage: Sudan's Al-Bashir, Indicted for Genocide,
is Nominated for Seat on U.N. Human Rights Council
Rights group UN Watch urges Ban Ki-moon, rights chief Navi Pillay to speak out
GENEVA, July 12 - Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch urged United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to urgently speak out against the African-backed bid by Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir, indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court, for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.