The Guardian reports today that the genocide occurring in the Sudan really isn’t genocide. They do admit, though:
“But it is clear there is widespread, silent and slow killing and village burning of a fairly large scale. There are considerable doubts as to the willingness of Sudan’s government to assume its duty to protect its civilian population against attacks.”
Considerable doubts? The reality of the situation there is that the Sudanese government is actively assisting the Janjaweed in their slaughter in Darfur and that the victims are picked because of who they are or what they believe. Senate Leader Bill Frist said,
“The direct line between the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed and the raping, pillaging and murder is so direct that, with an order from the top, I am absolutely convinced it could stop within a week…If the president of Sudan says stop, he can stop it.”
So why won’t the EU call this genocide? The Guardian article hits the reason dead-on.
Genocide is defined as a calculated effort to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, but the debate over its meaning is political, not semantic.
The genocide convention, adopted by the UN in 1948, calls on signatories to “prevent” and “punish” genocide. If governments accept events in Darfur amount to genocide they would be obliged to intervene.
Given the risk of such a logistical and military challenge, that is something few governments are willing to contemplate.
They are too timid to take the action that the word “genocide” demands. At least the US Congress has shown the “unlilateral” courage to buck the international community and call a spade a spade.
Category: Our Foreign Policy