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It is not fair when your government, the individuals you voted for and put your trust in have failed you. That is not what they are put in their position of power to do you would expect them to handle their position with high standards since they have all that power to support your ideas and thoughts. Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, an Egyptian law scholar and diplomat, who was the Vice-President of Egypt from July 2013 until his resigned 14 August 2013. In the interview, he presented when arriving in Cairo, the capital of Egypt he expressed, “People feel repressed by their governments, they feel unfairly treated by the outside world, they wake up in the morning and who do they see – they see people being shot and killed, all Muslims from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Darfur”. The government is made to protect people and ensure their rights are protected not to break spirits and kill thousands or even millions of innocent people. Nobody should have to lose their loved ones due to senseless acts of violence it is just not something an individual should have on their mind. Yet alone, a society of diverse innocent citizens being discriminated against because they are non-Arab. During the Darfur War, a great amount of power was abused by the Sudanese government which is why Omar Bashir should be prosecuted for his involvement during the 2003-2008 Darfur genocide.
To achieve my goal this paper has been organized into 3 sections: the first section will focus on the government, and their plans for the cleansing of the non-Arabs in Sudan, the Janjaweed involvement with the Sudanese government during the genocide and the commands or rules and regulations that were given. The second section will focus on the crimes that were committed during the Darfur War with the refugee’s thoughts and feelings during the war. Lastly, the third paragraph will reflect on the effects of the war after it happened with the damage it caused to the citizens of Darfur. The families separated from a loved one and how many lost family members along with how the war left families homeless. Before I begin, I will start with some historical context about the Darfur Genocide.
The Darfur genocide took place in western Sudan it is almost the size of Spain (World without Genocide). The war began in 2003 which resulted in the horrific murdering, Torchering, and raping of many men, women, and children. Not only did this war take over 500 thousand lives it has caused 2.8 billion Darfur citizens to be displaced. The government wanted to get rid of the non-Arab tribes in the region. This is when the Sudanese government granted the Arab militias who were known as the Janjaweed which stands for the evil horse riders to roam freely and viciously terrorize the villages by burning homes down, stealing, murdering livestock and poison the water that the innocent citizens would drink. Alongside the Janjaweed, the government would attack innocent citizens from the sky to help attempt to eliminate the non-Arab. The aftermath of the destruction left the citizens living in unsanitary conditions. For four months in later in October of 2003 to late February 2004, the government banned humanitarian agencies from coming into Darfur. In that period, they continued to act violently towards citizens this currently still has consequences for this action. The American government hears about the atrocities that were occurring in Darfur President George Bush and the secretary of state Collin Powers had concluded that a genocide this was happening. In March of 2009, a warrant was put out for the capturing of the Sudanese President Omar Bashir. For his part in initiating the plan to harm the innocent villagers. The Sudanese have yet to give him up for his crimes which have to lead to protest against the injustice. He is the only president that has an outstanding arrest warrant from the international criminal court. Omar Bashir is currently still the president of Darfur this war is still ongoing and it is heartbreaking.
Omar Bashir had a plan in place to ethnically cleanse Darfur. He went about this by recruiting innocent individuals to join his army called, the Janjaweed. He could go about this without having something in store for the Arab ‘Janjaweed’ militia. The Sudanese government provided them with incentives in the form of money payment, access to any loot they came across, as well as promises of access to land and administrative power. This is one of the many reasons why Bashar should be prosecuted because this is just inhumane no one should come up with an idea to murder innocent civilians in return for materialistic items.
Following these events, The Sudanese government had repeatedly stated that they can not pursue individuals of the Janjaweed militia forces responsible for crimes in Darfur if the victims and witnesses are unable or unwilling to name them. This is completely unfair because they knew who was a part of the militia forces they just chose not to prosecute them since it would be in their favor if they went down then the government could potentially go down.
“The Sudanese government regularly described the situation in Darfur as “tribal clashes” and consistently refused to acknowledge its responsibility for systematic attacks on civilians. Khartoum has accused foreign journalists and human rights groups of “fabricating” the Darfur situation, despite the overwhelming evidence of the Sudanese government’s responsibility for the crimes.”
The fact that the government tried to deny their true intentions and tried to make it seem as if it was just a war against two tribes is obscured there was no news about two tribes at war. Then they made up another lie about journalist lying about what was happening in Darfur. At that point, something was being covered up. That is how leaders of the past genocides tried to cover up there doing such as Hitler, Pol Pot by trying to pin the blame on someone else or find some way to gloss over horrific events that occurred.
Most would disagree with the fact that Omar Bashir should be prosecuted because he ruled for thirty years why would he commit such crimes on the citizens that he has ruled over. They have no evidence to prove that he did it. If anything, the Sudanese government has a reputation to maintain in the eyes of the loyal citizens they have so why would they do anything to destroy it. Omar Bashir stated ‘Everything happening, it is a responsibility. But what happened in Darfur, first of all, it was a traditional conflict taking place from the colonial days” (Omar al-Bashir). Like the government said it was a traditional tribal war that occurred they could not control it if it happens often it is a tradition. It was not the Arab ‘Janjaweed’ militias fault most could have been a part of the tribe war by force to survive they had to take a life for their own life or else. They were probably scared for their lives and wanted to protect themselves and their loved ones. Omar Bashir denied the reports that were being made by the media slandering the Sudanese government claiming that the militias were using chemical weapons towards civilians of Darfur and they are empty lies. The media is known for creating false stories and this was one of them why would the Sudanese government use chemical weapons on the citizens that would be harmful it could cause damage to citizens that could be nearby. The Sudanese government is not responsible for the Darfur genocide they could not act in such a way.
In late September 2004, a Human Rights Watch delegation interviewed a tribal leader from north Darfur, Musa Hilal, He had allegedly organized the Janjaweed militia to attack non-Arab tribes. Musa Hilal was asked if the army was under the Janjaweed’s supervision or the governments. He soon revealed that:
“It’s the government’s concern. They’re the ones that gave the PDF the guns; they’re the ones that recruited the PDF; they’re the ones that pay their salaries; they give them their ID cards. They can disarm themselves or they can leave them alone; that’s the government’s concern”.
The Militias say they have no control the Sudanese government-controlled everything the information here backs up my point that Omar Bashir should be prosecuted for his actions. This was all of his thoughts, and he just used these individuals to act violently for him. If he was controlling the gun intake and paying these individuals for their time. He was doing other things behind the scenes that no one else knows about.
Crimes Committed. A former soldier mentioned that they were asked to clear the area for the Janjaweed to make way, so they could attack the villagers, burn, and loot the area. Once they did that a numerous amount of bombs were dropped in a nearby village He said he saw people running away for their lives. 7 people killed by the bomb, 3 people were captured by the Janjaweed and handed over to the commander of their army (HRW). Innocent villagers live in a matter of seconds changing by the directions given by someone the government hired to make their plan come to life. The villagers did not deserve this horrific treatment there was no need to capture the innocent and act violently against them. The Janjaweed continued to brutally attack the innocent the former soldier told the HRW that a forty-two-year-old Zaghawa man was arrested then senselessly tortured by Janjaweed militia members after there was a joint Janjaweed army attack on March 2004, Not only did they attack and arrest an innocent man for no reason they tortured him, dehumanized him for their amusement. The ICC (International Criminal Court) investigation has produced many cases against the Sudanese government and the militia janjaweed forces for their involvement in the Darfur war They brought up the charges that were put against them such as:
“Genocide: genocide by killing; genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm; and genocide by deliberately inflicting on each target group conditions of life calculated to bring about the group’s physical destruction”.
“War crimes: murder; attacks against the civilian population; destruction of property; rape; pillaging; and outrage upon personal dignity; violence to life and person; intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission” (Darfur, Sudan).
“Crimes against humanity: murder; persecution; forcible transfer of population; rape; inhumane acts; imprisonment or severe deprivation of liberty; torture; extermination; and torture”.
There is enough evidence in the genocide to support these charges. To bring the innocent lives that were taken from senseless violence to justice. Omar Bashir should be prosecuted for being the mastermind behind these crimes. If it were not for him giving the green light and encouraging this behavior lives of the Darfur citizens would have been lived to the fullest.
The genocide forced citizens of Sudan to run to refugee camps seeking shelter. The refugees were struggling with their health inside of the refugee camps. The death rates were skyrocketing with the spread of malaria and typhoid. One of the leaders of the refugee camp road radio dabanga mentioned that there have been nine deaths in the last week, including six infants and two elderly persons. Babies, elders dying from the terrible conditions that were presented in the refugee camps. They turned to the camp for shelter and it turned into a place that created more harm done. Omar Bashir should be held accountable for this He violated their human rights by exposing the citizens to inhumane living conditions.
The Somali nutritionist told Chris Herlinger that the food was scarce because it was difficult to deliver to the three hundred thousand people in Darfur since it was a war zone that had military attacks. The people of Darfur should not have starved for this senseless war it was selfish and could have been prevented It is not fair that the food could have not been delivered to the refugees because the war what’s happening right outside of the area’s delivery. Herlinger continued to spoke to the women at the refugee camps and found this out, the refugees felt as if they were stuck in the past and could not move forward or even see what their future would be like. The woman feared for their lives there were threats of rape going around. One of the residents Hassa Hissa stated that “we are all just like hens in cages” (Herlinger). This just goes to show why he should be prosecuted women in the refugee camps are afraid they should not have to go through this emotional trauma in their lives fearing day by day what could have happened to them while they were there. It took the government to destroy their sense of security forcing them to seek help in areas where they believed they could be safe. Hens in cages should not a feeling or thought that an individual is feeling no one should be in compact areas with no way out. A refugee camp is supposed to be there as a resource not a jail for the innocent seeking help.
After The War, The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stated that the citizens of Darfur were greatly traumatized after the genocide. Dealing with losing homes and loved ones in communities took a toll on the innocent citizens of Darfur. The survivors mainly the women that were raped experience emotional and physical damage. Omar Bashir caused all of this with the hate built towards non Arabs attempting to ethnically cleanse for his selfish needs not recognizing the harm he is causing. Children in Darfur were on the streets begging for money and or abducted. Sex trafficking and forced labor emerged innocent women and girls dealt with sexual abuse against their will from the men in the houses that they stayed in (USHM). Innocent children going through situations that the girls should never have gone through as young as they were. This will stay with them forever stealing the childhood of these girls to prove a point is monstrous. Omar Bashir allowed thousands of females to be physically abused and did nothing no boundaries were implemented.
In addition, Halima Bashir, A Sudanese woman who survived the Darfur war sat down to speak to about her feelings she spoke with her face covered in fear that they will track her and her family down, She expressed how the men apart of the janjaweed were not normal nobody would do those things to children. They behaved that way towards the non-Arabs because their skin was a darker shade than the Arabs. Halima is strong enough to speak up yet she is afraid that the Sudanese government will come for her for speaking out against them. The trama that is instilled in Halima is how all surviving victims of the Darfur genocide must feel and Omar Bashir should pay for it. A rape survivor told Halima what the Janjaweed’s were saying to them, she revealed:
‘They were shouting and screaming at us. You know what they were saying? ‘We have come here to kill you! To finish you all! You are black slaves! You are worse than dogs. The worst was that they were laughing and yelping with joy as they did those terrible things’. The Verbal and physical abuse that the women were experiencing were unfair. Being spoken to as if they were less than because of the color of their skin is heartbreaking. All of this occurring by the governments commands given to the Janjaweed to act in disgusting ways towards harmless citizens
Therefore Omar Bashir should be held accountable for his actions during the 2003-2008 Darfur genocide. He used innocent citizens to murder other innocent citizens to make his twisted plan come to life by bribing them with money and materialistic items that made the Arab militias go crazy with power. He put the Darfur citizens in uncomfortable positions during the war. While the citizens were in refugee camps they were scared for their lives worried that they were going to get raped, robbed or murdered. Starving because they were not able to access food since there was a war zone outside of the refugee camp preventing food deliveries. This genocide was unnecessary it was selfish all of that innocent bloodshed he allowed to be put on others hands will trail back to him. All the physical, verbal and emotional abuse that he allowed happening towards innocent citizens who could not defend themselves is heartbreaking. Halima Bashir mentioned in her interview with the guardian that:
‘I can’t explain how happy I am for the ICC case’, she said. ‘It is now more than five years this has been going on and very little has been done. It’s as if we’ve been talking to deaf people. For me, this is a step for justice”.
Halima wants justice brought to her people for the crimes committed during the Darfur genocide and the fact that a case is being developed against Omar Bashir after all she has been through, Her family, Her people gives her hope. That the monster who killed 500 thousand and displace 2.8 billion innocent Darfur citizens would be held accountable for the permanent damage that has been done on the innocent civilians and the historical region Darfur.
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