SUDAN WATCH: UN assembly president calls Darfur violence "ethnic cleansing"

Friday, April 07, 2006

UN assembly president calls Darfur violence "ethnic cleansing"

UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson said Thursday that "ethnic cleansing" has taken place in Darfur, but stopped short of describing the violence as genocide - AP report 7 Apr 2006 - excerpt:
The UN has said crimes against humanity have likely been committed in Darfur, but not genocide as the United States and several other nations claim.

"Of course this is ethnic cleansing," Eliasson told Swedish public radio. "Genocide, I don't know if you can use that definition. But that matters less for the individual people who are affected."

"Darfur is a political and humanitarian tragedy and an infected wound in world politics," said Eliasson, who also is Sweden's incoming foreign minister.
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The International Criminal Court (ICC) - Summary

Note, many quarters, including the British Government and UN special envoy Jan Pronk, refer to what is happening in Darfur as "ethnic cleansing". Perhaps the following excerpt from International Justice Tribune on Darfur, Sudan may help explain why anyone within the UN cannot take it upon themselves to refer to Darfur as genocide:

The Security Council referred the Darfur situation to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on 31 March 2005 in Resolution 1593 (2005), after almost two months of negotiations over how to prosecute the crimes occurring in Darfur.

The Resolution was voted in by 11-0 with four members abstaining: the United States, Algeria, Brazil and China. The International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, chaired by the Italian judge Antonio Cassese, concluded in its report published on 31 January 2005 that crimes against humanity and war crimes such as killings, rape, pillaging and forced displacement have been committed since 1 July 2002 by the government-backed forces and the Janjaweed militia.

It declared, however, that the government of Sudan was not pursuing a policy of genocide in Darfur.

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