Is Darfur A Genocide?

An article in today’s LA Times written by Edmund Sanders questions whether or not the situation in Darfur is a “genocide” – by the term’s legal definition.

Sanders’ piece is controversial and provocative – showing us just how powerful the “G-word” can be.

I firmly believe that the Darfur crisis is a genocide – without question. However, I also agree with Darfur advocate John Prendergast –

Well-meaning scholars can disagree, but the debate is a crushing diversion from what we need to do to find a solution.

People can bicker back-and-forth all they want about whether Darfur is or is not a genocide. But, how is that helping the situation on the ground?

Millions of people struggle to survive without food, water, and medical supplies while we question just how bad their situation is? Unacceptable.

Click here to read the legal definition of “genocide” – and decide for yourself.

About Kristen
"peace happens when the love for power is overcome by the power of love"

One Response to Is Darfur A Genocide?

  1. Anshul says:

    Thanks writing about this article. It does raise some important points that we’ve heard before. And I agree, John Prendergast of the ENOUGH project, quoted in the article – said it best.

    “Well-meaning scholars can disagree, but the debate is a crushing diversion from what we need to do to find a solution,”

    These debates are important. The ideal is that once a humanitarian crisis is labeled – “genocide”, then the world, United Nations, all the diplomats would take immediate steps to halt the genocide. Clearly that has not happened. Having this discussion at this point seems more of a rationalization and defense of their inaction, rather than something of genuine debate. Are these people implying that the sole reason that they haven’t risen up to defend the innocent victims because it doesn’t meet the definition of genocide?

    At the end of the day, gross violations against human beings have been perpetrated against the Sudanese people. And the world has stood by. This is a stain on all of our souls. I personally agree with the human rights attorney quoted at the end of the article.

    But Mohamed Salim Jadala, a human rights attorney in Darfur, contended that evidence of genocide would emerge only after the regime’s fall. He said the act of labeling Darfur as genocide led government officials to conceal and curtail their actions.

    “The government couldn’t carry out the genocide because the international community took notice,” he said. “But just because the government never had the chance to finish what it started doesn’t mean it wasn’t genocide or that they won’t try again.”

    All of this doesn’t take anything away from all the other humanitarian crises in the world – Congo, Sri Lanka, Burma, Middle East etc. I feel our energies are better spent looking at how we have failed to stand up to such inhumanity. Debating the subtle nuances of a label, and it’s implications comes more from a perspective of “there is just too much chaos in the world, and we can’t handle all it.” I would much rather work towards the perspective of “there is too much chaos in the world, and we need to start facing them head on instead of avoiding them like we usually do.” I don’t see how avoiding such matters is good for the world or for any human being within it.

    Just my 2 cents…

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