The twentieth century has been called the century of genocide, this is due to the fact that “187 million is the figure the now more or less accepted wisdom for the number of human beings killed as a result of political violence” (1) This culture of genocide can be explained by two historical event (the Treaty of Westphalia, the end of World War I and a theory posited by Samuel Huntington.)
The Treaty of Westphalia was “gave its name to the treaty that ended the Thirty Years War, one of the most destructive conflicts in the history of Europe.” (2) The thirty years war is important to any discussion of genocide due to the fact that “The war or series of connected wars began in 1618, when the Austrian Habsburgs tried to impose Roman Catholicism on their Protestant subjects in Bohemia. It pitted Protestant against Catholic, the Holy Roman Empire against France, the German princes and princelings against the emperor and each other, and France against the Habsburgs of Spain. The Swedes, the Danes, the Poles, the Russians, the Dutch and the Swiss were all dragged in or dived in. Commercial interests and rivalries played a part, as did religion and power politics.” (3) In this case various ethnic and religious groups were vying for additional power and/or attempting to gain ethnic and religious power over Europe. The treaty that ended the war is important due to the fact that “Switzerland became independent of Austria and the Netherlands became independent of Spain. The German states retained their autonomy, as did other nations, and a Roman Catholic reconquers of all Europe was now a thing of the past. Additionally, and with far-reaching modern implications, the sovereignty of individual nation-states (and territories under their jurisdiction) was now affirmed, the most important principle of which saw that no state may intervene in the affairs of another state unless invited to do so; noncompliance with this would indicate that an act of war had been committed.” (4)Simply put the Treaty of Westphalia gave rise to the modern nation-state. This eventually led to conflict between different ethnic and religious groups that found themselves to be living within the same nation. In addition to this, the modern nation made attempts to prove that they were dominant/more powerful than other nations. The struggle for power/power politics led to World War I.
World War I began with “the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. On June 28, 1914 Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was killed by the Black Hand- a Serbian secret society. Austria-Hungary’s reaction to the death was to issue an ultimatum to Serbia.” (5) As this indicates, the cause of World War I was a difference between ethnic groups and/or cultures. In effect the Austro-Hungarian Empire violated the right of the Serbian people to sovereign rule, this lead to the war. The war ended in 1918 with the signing of the Versailles which “consisted of 15 parts and 440 articles. Its provisions included, among others, the return of nearly 15 percent of German-held territory to neighboring states: namely, France, Belgium, Poland, and Czechoslovakia (Parts II and III); special administrative arrangements or plebiscites for the Saar (Articles 49-50), Memel (Article 99), Danzig (Articles 100-108), and Schleswig (Articles 109-114); prohibition of union (Anschluss) between Germany and Austria (Article 80); reallocation of all German colonies under a system of mandates (Article 22; Part III; and Part IV, Section I); termination of German rights, titles, and privileges in China, Thailand, Liberia, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Kiaochow (Part IV, Sections II-VIII); limitation of the German army to 100,000 men with no general staff, no conscription, no heavy artillery, no tanks, no aircraft, no ships over 10,000 tons, and no submarines (Part V); and establishment of a reparation commission to ensure Germany’s payment of a heavy compensation (Part VIII). In addition, Germany was declared the “aggressor” (Article 231), and provision was made for the creation of a special tribunal to put on trial German war leaders, including Wilhelm II (Part VII).” (6) Indicated here is once again the importance of the nation-state and the right to self-rule. War end eventually genocide are brought on by different ethnic and religious groups vying for power within a nation. The final area that indicates the importance the difference between ethnic and religious groups to war/genocide can be found in the theory of Samuel Huntington.
Huntington theorizes that “It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” (7) As nations become sovereign various religious and ethnic groups will attempt to gain power. This desire for power and/or for a group to remain in power will lead to increased violence in the form of genocide. As previously indicated, this desire to remain in power and/to gain power have been the reason behind wars of the twentieth century and treaties that have attempted to offer sovereign rights to states after war have led to increased levels of conflict.
Evidence of this can be found in the genocide that is currently occurring in the Sudan.
Genocide in the Sudan:
The United Nations define genocide as “"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1 ; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and]forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." (8) Unlike war and other forms of political violence, genocide is directed at one racial or ethnic group, as Huntington described clashes between different ethnic groups within the same nation.
The Sudan is located in “north-eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea” (9) and has a majority Arab 70 % (10) Arab population. This fact led to violence that began in the 1990s “Arabs and black Africans in the Darfur region began to clash over land and water use, primarily as a result of a severe drought and increasing desertification. Over time the clashes became increasingly violent (a result, in part, of the fact that outbreaks of violence in that region of Africa had resulted in a flood of weapons surging into the Darfur region).” (11). As this indicates, violence began to occur between different ethnic groups, those being Arabs and black Africans, due to this violence escalated throughout the 1990s and led to “2003 Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir’s (b. 1944) regime undertook a scorched earth campaign against the black Africans of Darfur in western Sudan. By mid-2007, the estimates of those who had been killed or perished due to genocide by attrition (i.e., due to a lack of water, starvation, or injuries) ranged from a low of 250,000 to over 400,000 individuals.” (12). “What is important about this ethnic violence is the fact that the Sudanese government is being supported by Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood who “enounced the genocide charges filed by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court against Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir” (13) Here again is another indication of how ethnicity and religion play large parts in political violence and/or genocide. As indicated by the clash of civilizations theory, black African’s are being persecuted not only by Sudanese Arabs but these Arabs are also being supported by other Arab groups throughout the region.
Violence in the Sudan is limited to a region of the country known as Darfur which is a region “the size of France. It is home to about 6 million people from nearly 100 tribes. Some nomads. Some farmers. All Muslims” (14) the reason that violence erupted in this region are complex, much of the violence took place between settled farmers and nomadic tribesmen. One major reason for the complexity of the violence is the fact that often times violence is explained as occurring between “black African’s” and “Arabs” when in fact “In reality, there are no visible racial or religious differences between the warring parties in Darfur. All parties involved in the conflict–whether they are referred to as "Arab" or "African"–are equally indigenous, equally black, and equally Muslim.” (15) An ethnic conflict is occurring in Darfur even though there is no actual ethnic and/or religious differences between the warring parties. This is due to the fact that “A long history of internal migration, mixing, and intermarriage in Darfur have created remarkable ethnic fluidity: ethnic labels are often used only as a matter of convenience. For instance, in the Darfur context, for the most part the term "Arab" is used as an occupational rather than an ethnic label, for the majority of the Arabic speaking groups are pastoralists. On the other hand, most of the non-Arab groups are sedentary farmers. However, even these occupational boundaries are often crossed.” (16) In this case, violence is taking place among a settled farming community and the nomadic community. Violence began “In 1989, General Omar Bashir took control of Sudan by military coup, which then allowed The National Islamic Front government to inflame regional tensions. In a struggle for political control of the area, weapons poured into Darfur. Conflicts increased between African farmers and many nomadic Arab tribes.” (17) Simply put, the level of violence that is currently occurring in Darfur have been directly connected to the rule of General Bashir to the point where the international community (including the International Criminal Court) believe that Bashir has “ordered atrocities in the conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.” (18)
Perpetrators of violence in Darfur are known as the Janjaweed and are “militiamen are primarily members of nomadic "Arab" tribes who've long been at odds with Darfur's settled "African" farmers, who are darker-skinned. (The labels Arab and African are rather misleading, given the complexity of the region's ethnic history. For simplicity's sake, Explainer will stick with these inelegant terms.)” (19) Again it would be incorrect to say that the Janjaweed were attacking Darfur’s farming community because they are “black” when in fact the genocide that is occurring is taking place due to a scarcity of resources “Darfur's scarce water and land resources—desertification has been a serious problem, so grazing areas and wells are at a premium. In fact, the term "Janjaweed" has for years been synonymous with bandit, as these horse- or camel-borne fighters were known to swoop in on non-Arab farms to steal cattle.” (20) Huntington was correct in the fact that future conflicts due appear to be taking place between ethnic groups (no matter how tenuous ethnic differences may be), however, as global warming has an increasing impact on natural resources, there will also be increased levels of violence that will be directed at attempting to obtain these resources from other groups. As in the case in Darfur.
The Fight for Resources:
The genocide in Darfur has been raging since the 1990s and shows little if no potential for violence stopping anytime soon. However, while this violence has been occurring there are complicated reasons for why violence is occurring. One reason for the violence is the alleged difference between “Black African’s” and “Arabs” racially these groups are the same and both groups are Muslim. Claiming that the genocide in Darfur is simply an ethnic conflict is a simply explanation for a complicated issue.
One of the complications from the fact that the Janjaweed Militia is seeking access to scare resources. Due to global warming the Sudan is experiencing desertification, which is “is the persistent degradation of dryland ecosystems by variations in climate and human activities. Home to a third of the human population in 2000, drylands occupy nearly half of Earth’s land area. Across the world, desertification affects the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on the benefits that dryland ecosystems can provide.” (21) As land becomes more arid there is less and less available area for watering of crops and animals, meaning that more people will be moving into areas that still have access to natural resources. This, as demonstrated by the crisis in Darfur can cause armed conflict.
According to the United Nations, Desertification occurs when:
- The tree and plant cover that binds the soil is removed. It occurs when trees and bushes are stripped away for fuelwood and timber, or to clear land for cultivation.
- Animals eat away grasses and erode topsoil with their hooves.
- Intensive farming depletes the nutrients in the soil.
- Wind and water erosion aggravate the damage, carrying away topsoil and leaving behind a highly infertile mix of dust and sand. It is the combination of these factors that transforms degraded land into desert. (22)
Once desertification takes place, the arid land will no longer support farming and cattle herding due to the fact that there is insufficient water to support this sort of activity. While this is part of the reason for violence in Darfur, access to natural resources have been a recurrent problem. It has been explained by individuals that have spent decades researching violence in Darfur “To outsiders, the conflict is seen as tribal warfare. At its roots, though, it is a struggle over controlling an environment that can no longer support all the people who must live on it” (23) This shows that there are multiple issues that need to be solved or on the way to being solved before the crisis in Darfur will end.
Just as reasoning behind the genocide in Darfur is multifaceted, the humanitarian crisis that accompany political violence is also multifaceted. For example hundreds of thousands have been killed due to violence, either directly or through injuries and/or starvation that have accompanied the genocide. In addition to this hundreds of thousands more have been displaced due to the violence and are putting strain on the resources of other nations that have taken in refugees and/or other locations within the Sudan.
An example of how extreme the humanitarian crisis is the United Nations have reported the following “The United Nations estimates that the conflict has killed 50,000 civilians and displaced more than a million. Around 180,000 refugees, most of them black Darfurians, have fled into Chad.” (24) In addition to this, it has been reported that “Darfur now faces what has quickly become one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.” (25) The violence that is occurring in Darfur is unlike other types of civil war in that those individuals being targeted are not rebels and/or insurgents. They are innocent civilians. Another example of the targeting of civilians can be found with here “Under the wide arms of an acacia tree, Khadija Adam Ahmed, 47, told how Sudanese soldiers stole her 75 cows during an attack on her village, shot at her feet to keep her from running, and then blocked the road to the refugee camps across the border in Chad.” (26) Allowing the farming community in Darfur to escape is not an option, everything is directed at ensuring that those that are found are executed so that all “Black African’s” are eliminated from the Sudan.
Chad has been one of the primary locations to which Darfurian refugees have fled, as such one powerful statement can be said about this sudden influx of people “A sudden influx of uninvited guests can tax even the most generous host. When the hosts are among the world’s poorest people, the visitors vastly outnumber them, and the newcomers have no immediate plans to leave, you might expect trouble.” (27) According to the World Bank, Chad is listed as a less developed nation, with its income level listed as “low” (28) In addition to this, “the majority of the population has a low standard of living, shown through their high levels of inequality, poor housing, low standard of health, high infant mortality rate, high levels of malnutrition, lack of overall education and high poverty levels. The link below has statistics that depict many of these factors, portraying that low standard of living. For example, Chad's low literacy rate of 47% and low net enrollment ratio in primary school, 70.1%, show the lack of education in Chad. High poverty levels in Chad are shown through its high poverty headcount at national poverty line with 55% of the population below the poverty line.” (29) Chad is in a difficult economic situation, add to that hundreds of thousands of refugees, the economic situation in Chad will only stand to deteriorate as more and more poor individuals flood into the nation, putting additional strain on a weak infrastructure. Socioeconomics is not the only issue that may arise out of taking in refugees from Darfur, environmentally “Conditions in eastern Chad are hardly hospitable. It is in the Sahel zone, a textbook example of survival in one of the world’s most marginal regions. The land is arid, the climate harsh. There are few trees. Dust covers the ground.” (30) Violence in Darfur arose from inability for both settled farmers and nomadic tribesmen to access to water and grazing area for animals. While Darfur refugees have been accepted into Chad there is the potential that as the environmental conditions in Chad begin to deteriorate and it becomes difficult to find land acceptable for farming and limited access to water has the potential to cause violence to being in Chad, which has the potential to cause more refugee immigration, causing even more strain on nearby nations that are in similar situations with lack of farming land and clean water.
Limited natural resources are not the only issue that will be facing nations, such as Chad have been taking in refugees from the violence in Darfur, overpopulation has a direct impact on the spread of disease “A WHO report shows that environmental degradation, combined with the growth in world population, is a major cause of the rapid increase in human diseases, which contributes to the malnutrition of 3.7 billion people worldwide, making them more susceptible to disease.” (31) Obvious problems arise when a large number of people are living in close quarters, those include a quick spread of disease. With large people living together it becomes easier for a virus to spread. In addition to this, an increased refugee population will lead to an increased drain in infrastructure including removal of waste and the potential for contaminated drinking water due to the inability to properly remove waste. In addition to this large populations in less developed areas where there is not sufficient food have a weakened immune systems, which again will cause increased spread of disease.
Thus far this report has focused on the violence in the Sudan and the resulting humanitarian crisis. The following sections will deal with international law and how international organizations have gone about attempting to end the violence
To put things into perspective, “In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to create the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (external link). Recognizing that “at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity” and that international cooperation was needed “to liberate mankind from this odious scourge,” the Convention criminalized certain acts committed with the intent to destroy ethnic, national, racial, or religious groups.” (32) Since the end of World War II the international community has been working to end the crime of genocide, however, events in the Sudan led to the establishment of a permanent international criminal court. “In 1998, the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) established the first permanent international criminal court. The Rome Statute’s drafting process and the ICC’s ongoing case against the president of Sudan have added further clarifications to the international law of genocide.” (33) This was done to punish nations that were unwilling or unable to take actions against regimes that were committing genocide and/or other crimes against international law.
South Sudan has gained independence from Sudan, “An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in a January 2011 referendum to secede and become Africa's first new country since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993.” (34) This was done after a peace deal to end the long running Sudanese civil war. However, the peace in South Sudan was not to be long lasting, “The young state plunged into crisis in December 2013 amid a power struggle between the president and his deputy whom he had sacked.” (35) Now the ongoing conflict has transitioned from a civil war to a war between independent nations, violence that is occurring is covered under additional elements of international law. “Sudan is engaged in an international armed conflict with South Sudan. The conflict is regulated by the Geneva Conventions and applicable customary international law (see pdf below). There is also an ongoing non-international armed conflict with the South Sudan People's Army-North (SPLA-N), particularly in South Kordofan.” (36) A is no longer a civil war, the violence is covered under regulations put forth in the Geneva Convention.
International response toward the genocide in the Sudan has been shockingly inactive, the United Nations has taken a few steps toward ending the violence, however those steps have been described as to little too late, for example “28 September 2007 – The killings and violence that have engulfed the Sudanese region of Darfur for the past four years constitute genocide, the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines told the General Assembly today, calling the planned hybrid United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force insufficient and too late.” (37) The United Nations did not become as involved as It should have been due to the fact that the United States led Global War on Terrorism took over much of the time and resources that otherwise could have been used to monitor potential crisis situations in other areas. As such other international organizations and nations have had to take the lead in attempting to end violence. For example, Chad attempted to broker a peace treaty “Though Chad brokered a ceasefire between the parties in September 2003, this agreement quickly broke down in December 2003. The Government’s renewed counter-insurgency campaign in 2004 began to systematically target ethnic groups, according to a Human Rights Watch report, ‘Darfur Destroyed’. Members of the Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit tribes became the targets of massacres, summary executions of civilians, burnings of towns and villages, forcible depopulations, rape and sexual violence. The report documents 14 incidents of large scale killings in Dar Masalit alone between September 2003 and February 2004, attacks which left 770 dead. Populations were emptied in repeated attacks on hundreds of villages, in half of which there were reports of rape.” (38) While the peace treaty showed initial success, eventually the ceasefire broke down, thus showing that a larger more influential international body would have to assist with ending the violence in the Sudan. As such the African Union (AU) took steps to end the violence through sending troops to the region and attempting to broker a cease fire. “Sudanese President Al-Bashir agreed to allow the African Union (AU) to deploy a mission (AMIS) to monitor a ceasefire agreement signed on 8 April 2004, a mission endorsed by UNSC Resolution 1556. The AU initially deployed 150 troops in August 2004 but had increased that number to 7,700 troops by April 2005. African leaders resisted efforts to widen the intervention to non-African countries. These voices included South African President Thabo Mbeki, who stated “we have not asked for anybody outside of the African continent to deploy troops in Darfur. It's an African responsibility, and we can do it”. However, according to Human Rights Watch, AMIS struggled to function, due to an uncooperative Sudanese government and a lack of resources.” (39) As with all other attempts to end the violence in the Sudan, this attempt was also unsuccessful, this is potentially due to the fact that the AU did not and does not have the resources for an extended deployment in the Sudan and does not have the international authority for the government of the Sudan to take suggestions put forth by the AU to be taken seriously. Yet another attempt to end violence in the Sudan was taken on the European Union (EU). In this case, the EU asked the UN to ““to act on its responsibility to protect civilians” in Darfur. On 28 September 2006, the Parliament stated that Sudan “has failed in its ‘responsibility to protect’ its own people” and called on the GoS to accept a UN mission under UN Resolution 1706. On 15 February 2007, the European Parliament called on the UN to “act in line with its "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine (. . .) even in the absence of consent or agreement from the Sudanese Government”. On 12 July 2007 the Parliament called on the UN to act “basing its action on the failure of the Government of Sudan (GoS) to protect its population in Darfur from war crimes and crimes against humanity”. (40) Instead of the EU attempting to end violence in the Sudan, instead they called upon the UN to follow through with sanctions that have been put in place against the Sudan and to recognize the fact that violence toward civilians was taking place in the Sudan and that steps must be taken to end the violence. Finally the UN took steps against the Sudan “On 24 March 2005, the UNSC authorized a UN mission (UNMIS) in Resolution 1590 to support the implementation of the CPA. On 31 August 2006, UN Security Council Resolution 1706 aimed to expand the mandate and force size of UNMIS. Resolution 1706 was the first to make reference in a country-specific situation to paragraphs 138-139 of the 2005 World Summit, by which governments endorsed unanimously the Responsibility to Protect. In the face of opposition from the GoS, the UN instead proposed the transition from AMIS to a joint UN-AU mission (UNAMID) of 25,987 personnel in Resolution 1769 on 31 July 2007, whose deployment was delayed until 31 December 2007. UNAMID’s mandate was extended in Resolution 1935 in 2010 and again in Resolution 2113 in 2013, although the mission’s strength was set at 26,167 personnel in 2012 by Resolution 2063.” (41) Although the UN remained overwhelmed with supporting the Global War on Terrorism, steps were taken to support the AU peacekeeping mission in the Sudan, in this case, the UN sent peacekeepers to the region so that duties would be a hybrid mission where the AU and the UN both kept forces in the region to support the peace process.
The hybrid peacekeeping process that is being undertaken by the AU and the US is known as African Union–UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and is the largest peacekeeping force ever deployed with “26,000” (42) Troops in support of the mission. This makes the first time that this type of hybrid peacekeeping mission has been attempted. The reason that such an attempt was undertaken with the situation in the Sudan was because “the Sudanese government rejected proposals for a standard UN mission.” (43) The Sudanese government wanted to maintain the “African” character of the peacekeeping process taking place in the Sudan, with this in mind the UN chose to support the AU mission in an attempt to take on a support role where the AU was lacking. “The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations provides logistical support for the mission in cooperation with the AU Peace and Security Directorate.” (44) The hybrid peacekeeping force in the Sudan has been marginally successful, due to the fact that while the AU/UN force has shown some ability to maintain stability in the Sudan, other areas of the mission have proven difficult if not completely unsuccessful “the mission has been hampered by shortages of personnel and a lack of aircraft and other equipment, much of which must be contributed by donor countries. The mission has also been the target of attacks on its staff and vehicles, and has been hamstrung by official restrictions on its movements in the vast region. Critics charge that despite some degree of success, the force has never been supplied with the military capacity and political backing needed to adequately protect the civilian population and support humanitarian efforts.” (45) Hiccups that have been experienced by UNAMID are to be expected as it is the first mission of its kind, nothing will function perfectly the first time out of the gate. However, as the mission has proven successful in maintain stability in the Sudan it is unlikely that this will be the last mission of its kind.
In addition to actions taken by the UN/AU, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has also taken steps to prosecute perpetrators of violence in the Sudan, for example “The Prosecution evidence shows that Al Bashir masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, on account of their ethnicity. Members of the three groups, historically influential in Darfur, were challenging the marginalization of the province; they engaged in a rebellion. AL BASHIR failed to defeat the armed movements, so he went after the people. “His motives were largely political. His alibi was a ‘counterinsurgency.’ His intent was genocide.” (46) This evidence presented by the ICC leaves little doubt that the government of the Sudan and President Bashir are guilty of having committed genocide or at the very least there is evidence that indicates that genocide did in fact occur and that an international body, the ICC is willing to take steps to put President Bashir on trial for actions that he has taken or actions that he has ordered be taken. As an example, this evidence has been presented “For over 5 years, armed forces and the Militia/Janjaweed, on AL BASHIR orders, have attacked and destroyed villages. They then pursued the survivors in the desert. Those who reached the camps for the displaced people were subjected to conditions calculated to bring about their destruction. AL BASHIR obstructs international assistance. His forces surround the camps. One victim said: “When we see them, we run. Some of us succeed in getting away, and some are caught and taken to be raped -- gang-raped. Maybe around 20 men rape one woman. […] These things are normal for us here in Darfur. These things happen all the time. I have seen rapes too. It does not matter who sees them raping the women -- they don't care. They rape girls in front of their mothers and fathers”. (47) With this evidence in place, indictments have been leveled against President Bashir. Just as the hybrid peacekeeping force in the Sudan is the first of its kind, legal action against the President of the Sudan is also the first of its kind “Bashir holds the notorious distinction of being the only person whom the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted for the unholy trinity of international crimes — crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.” (48) What this means is that President Bashir will have to face a trail and explain his crimes, that is, if he is ever arrested and put on trial for these crimes. While the ICC has found evidence of genocide and evidence that points toward the guilt of Mr. Bashir, all nations are sovereign. Meaning that while the ICC will like to take actions, but there is little they can do about his arrest. An example of the difficulties faced by the ICC is the freedom of movement that President Bashir has while visiting South Africa “South African diplomats and lawyers have argued that there are ambiguities with regards to their obligation to arrest Bashir and that they are torn between their obligations to the ICC and those they have to the African Union. In time, those arguments will be tested and judged. Moreover, African states and diplomats continue to play an indispensable role in supporting the work of the ICC. What we have witnessed in the past few days is an outpouring of criticism of the government of South Africa, not only from Western states but, most importantly, from across Africa. It will be increasingly implausible for African governments not to clarify their positions regarding their support of, and obligations to, the court.” (49) The government of South Africa chose not to support the ICC in arresting President Bashir while he was visiting South Africa, implying that South Africa and the Sudan could and would do whatever they chose regardless of decisions made by the ICC. Once again, this is due to the fact that while international courts may exist, there is no methods in place to enforce the decisions by these courts. The Bashir issue indicates that more efforts must be put in place to make the decisions by international bodies carry more weight.
Genocide in the Sudan is an interesting case study for several reasons. One of the prime reasons being when the genocide began, violence was occurring between different populations within the same nation, i.e. violence was part of a civil war that was taking place mostly due to controversy over water and land rights, or who should be allowed access to water and land. As the violence continued South Sudan broke away from the Sudan is an attempt to end violence, however the violence continued and evolved from a civil war to a war between sovereign nations. However, most of the violence was directed toward civilians.
Violence in the Sudan became a way of life, meaning that the governments of the Sudan and South Sudan would be unable to end violence on their own, meaning that the international community would be required to step in and take a stand. In the case of the Sudan the UN chose to ignore the issue because most resources were being diverted by the US led Global War on Terrorism, leaving the African Union the international body that initially stepped in to end the violence. Unfortunately the AU did not have the resources needed to maintain stability in the Sudan. Eventually the UN chose to take a stand with the Sudan and sent a hybrid force to the Sudan, both the UN and AU would be sending troops to the region to maintain stability. This force seems to be somewhat successful in maintain stability.
The International Criminal Court has also taken steps against the Sudan and its president. However, events in the Sudan show the short comings of an international court. As each nation is sovereign there is nothing that can be done to force nations to follow the rulings of the court. President Bashir is an example of this. While he has been indicted on charges of genocide, he is still able to travel freely through Africa as South Africa has been unwilling to turn President Bashir over to international authorities during his visit.
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21. Keep in touch, subscribe:, http://www.greenfacts.org/en/desertification/.
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23. Didrik Schanche, Scarce Resources, Ethnic Strife Fuel Darfur Conflict,NPR.org (NPR.org Oct. 29, 2007), http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6425093.
24. Somini Sengupta, Death in Darfur, New York Times Upfront (2004).
27. Rosemarie North, Darfur’s refugees in Chad, The Magazine of the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement, http://www.redcross.int/EN/mag/magazine2005_2/22-23.html.
28. Data: Chad, The Wold Bank Group, http://data.worldbank.org/country/chad.
29. Lauren Hunter, Economic Development, Chad: A Developing Nation(Chad: A Developing Nation), http://chadadevelopingnation.weebly.com/economic-development.html.
31. Effects of Human Overpopulation, Everything Connects (Nov. 20, 2013), http://www.everythingconnects.org/overpopulation-effects.html.
32. The Genocide Convention in International Law — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, http://www.ushmm.org/confront-genocide/justice-and-accountability/introduction-to-the-definition-of-genocide.
36. Sudan: Applicable international law, The Rule of Law in Armed Conflict Project (Rules of Law in Armed Conflicts Project Jul. 18, 2012), http://www.geneva-academy.ch/RULAC/applicable_international_law.php?id_state=205.
37. UN News - UN actions to end Darfur ‘genocide’ too little, too late – Saint Vincent leader, UN News Service Section (United Nations-DPI/NMD - UN News Service Section Sept. 28, 2007), http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24063#.VcEvL_lViko.
38. Neil Dullaghan, Crisis in Darfur, International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protec, http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/crises/crisis-in-darfur.
42. Michael Fleshman, Darfur: an experiment in African peacekeeping | Africa Renewal Online, African Renewal Online (Dec. 2010), http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/december-2010/darfur-experiment-african-peacekeeping.
46. ICC - ICC Prosecutor presents case against Sudanese President, Hassan Ahmad AL BASHIR, for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur, International Criminal Court (Feb. 2005), http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/situations%20and%20cases/situations/situation%20icc%200205/press%20releases/Pages/a.aspx.
48. Mark Kersten, Should South Africa Have Arrested Sudan’s President?, Washington Post, Jun. 15, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/06/15/should-south-africa-have-arrested-sudans-president/.