SUDAN WATCH: In Darfur, Sudan, Physicians for Human Rights Team finds substantial evidence of intentional destruction of livelihoods

Thursday, February 17, 2005

In Darfur, Sudan, Physicians for Human Rights Team finds substantial evidence of intentional destruction of livelihoods

PHR urges UN to support compensation and increased African Union Force: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) reporting Feb. 16, from a three-week assessment in Darfur, called on the UN Security Council to step up security and establish an International Compensation Commission to provide reparations to Darfurians whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the recent conflict.

PHR has an extensive collection of high quality photographs of its recent investigation taken by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Wadleigh. Here are some of the photos, and captions taken from the above mentioned PHR report February 16, 2005.

Destruction of Villages

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Photo: At left, a village in Darfur. At right, a village after an attack.

Focusing on the village of Furawiya in the northern part of West Darfur, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) documented the full range of loss of livelihoods, including loss of community, economic structures, livestock, food production, wells and irrigation, farming capacity, and household structures. When this detail is applied to the estimated 700-2,000 villages destroyed in Darfur, the scale and cost of livelihood destruction is enormous. From the air and land, the PHR team also photographically documented the utter devastation of dozens of villages in the southern border with Chad.

DarfurDestructionVillages.jpg

The findings bolster PHR's genocide assessment from its June 2004 investigation along the Chad/Sudan border that highlighted evidence of an organized attempt to affect group annihilation. In particular, PHR's livelihood study is applicable to Article 6c of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court which defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

"Perpetrators of the heinous war crimes committed in Darfur must be brought to justice and PHR urges the UN to send a referral to the International Criminal Court, but prosecuting perpetrators alone will not be enough to restore livelihoods lost," said John Heffernan who led the most recent investigation. "The non-Arab Darfurians have lost everything, making the prospect of returning without some sort of compensation, even in a secure environment, difficult."

DestroyedRestoreMarketShops.jpg

Destruction of Livestock

According to an account by one of the few Furawiya residents who never left his village, nearly all the prewar livestock was lost. The percent of livestock lost as a direct result of the attack was 40% killed and 20% stolen or eaten by attacking Janjaweed forces. Of the remaining animals, 30 died as a result of lack of food and water from either the long trek to Chad or from neglect. Food production for family consumption and for upkeep of their livestock was completely wiped out. Not only were homes attacked, looted and/or destroyed, the crops were also burned. Because of continuing intimidation and regular return attacks against Furawiya (in May, June, July and August 2004 per the UN assessment report), villagers are unable to return home.

DestroyedRestoreLivestockCamels.jpg

Physicians for Human Rights team member and medical consultant Dr. Michael Van Rooyen, a humanitarian aid expert at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, "An essential part of survival is community structure. People can't and won't return unless their entire village returns. It is vital that the international community and the Government of Sudan take concrete steps to rebuild these people's lives."

Without access to their land there is no home, and no farm. Without the farm there is no way to eat or feed livestock. Without livestock there is reduced access to water and no economy. The continuation of attacks and intimidation has forced the population into the harsh desert to live off of the wild grains and berries. It is only the presence of humanitarian aid organizations that has prevented the starvation and annihilation of the Furawiyan population. This pattern repeats itself across a land the size of France.

DestroyedRestoreLivestockDonkeys.jpg

To ensure return of people to their homes, save lives and prevent further attacks, Physicians for Human Rights calls on the UN Security Council to immediately support:

- An enlarged and more robust African Union force, with increased troops, equipment and strong logistical and financial support from donor nations.

- Disarmament and disbandment of the Janjaweed militia forces by the Government of Sudan with measures to ensure that all parties respect the ceasefire agreement.

- An International Compensation Commission to enable Darfurians to restore their livelihoods. This should include devising a means of holding the Janjaweed militias and the Government of Sudan accountable to return seized lands, provide reparations, and restore plundered and pillaged property, as well as compensation for damaged crops and infrastructure.

- Targeted sanctions on the government of Sudan and others responsible for the ongoing attacks.

- Holding perpetrators accountable by referring crimes committed in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

Darfur's Victims

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DarfurVictimsMen.jpg

Combatants

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Peacekeepeers

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Physicians for Human Rights has an extensive collection of high quality photographs of the investigation taken by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Wadleigh. [View a selection of the images]

PHR will release its findings, as well as its complete recommendations for action, in an upcoming full report.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) mobilizes the health professions to ensure the health and dignity of all people. As a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

4 Comments:

Blogger Black River Eagle said...

Good work Ingrid. Thanks for pointing us (readers) to this very important report on Darfur by Physicians for Human Rights. I never heard of this organization before your posting about them.

The PHR case study on the attacks and utter devastation of the village of Furawiya and surrounding villages is chilling. If this is not evidence of (attempted) genocide by the GoS and the Janjaweed militias then I don't what else to call it.

This is the type of information that the major international news media needs to get in front of their viewers and readers vs. a half hour special every 6 months or so. The photographs alone would help stimulate more outrage around the world (hopefully) not only toward the regime in Khartoum but also to Khartoum's arms suppliers Russia and China and the GoS's financial backers as well.

Thursday, February 17, 2005  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Thank you Bill. Your messages are always warmly received and appreciated. Sincere apologies for not being able to keep up with replies as well as postings at three blogs.

Yesterday I spent three hours with a friend trying to install Broadband. The software turned out to be incompatible with my PowerBook G4. It has become a "project" that will take more hours tomorrow trying to connect ADSL. Replies to indepth comments, which are always a pleasure to receive, right now are taking as long to publish a post. So, once again, please forgive delay.

Thursday, February 17, 2005  
Blogger Black River Eagle said...

No apologies necessary Ingrid, I know that you are a busy woman. I was concerned that you may not be receiving email comms, but since they haven't been bounced-back then I am assured you have received them.

Good luck with the DSL installation. You shouldn't have to install any software on your notebook PC in order to access your DSL modem/router. You just need the DSL dialup code, your login username and password information entered into your PC's software for internet access. Call the phone company or your DSL service provider tech support, they should be able to help you out fast and over the phone.

You think Deutsche Telekom is smart enough to issue DSL software CD's that are compatible with non-German language OS software for its international customers here in Germany?? What are you kidding?

Skip the service provider's marketing crap (DSL software) and tell 'em you just want the juice ( the DSL bandwidth).

Sunday, February 20, 2005  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Hello Bill, Thank you for commenting. Sorry to report the ADSL did not work. I had to cancel the new package after a dozen calls to my ISP and Mac Support. I use an Apple Mac not a pc. Seems the USB modem, phone filters and cables that the ISP sent with (to switch my single line analogue telephone line to broadband) are not compatible with OSX version 10.3.8 - and nobody could advise how to connect the service to my PowerBook G4.

Mac Support said the ISP should have provided ethernet modem, not USB. The ISP insisted it would work but couldn't talk us through connecting it up because they don't support Mac. The CD they sent had too few instructions for Mac.

I got so exhausted by the whole thing after two days involving at least a dozen calls and seven hours of trying to get it organised. The modem lights flashed, but it would not get a dial tone to connect to the internet.

A friend helped me - he was in on all of the phone calls - and he concluded it would not work, I would have to try another ISP. The one I tried was Tiscali. I've contacted my ISP Virgin.net who said their broadband service *should* work, but it was such a mammoth ordeal ordering the original package, and then cancelling, I have given up on trying again for a while.

Whilst trying to get it all sorted, it messed up my email settings and I had to spend another day and more phone calls getting my two email addresses back to where they were before the ADSL fiasco.

I am not sure what you mean about not needing to download software. The ISP instructions came on a CD and it seemed like there was something to install software wise for the ADSL modem to work. I don't understand any of it. My friend has a pc and connected his machine to the Tiscali broadband fine - it took 4 minutes - no problems. My problem is because I use a Macintosh OSX version that is above 10.2

I have a PowerBook G4 and Tiscali admit they do not support Mac. I shall have to wait until I come across a blogger with the same computer and see, if they are on broadband, which ISP they use. I googled the problem and it appears that many Mac users have found it impossible to connect to Tiscali broadband.

Sunday, February 20, 2005  

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