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Genocide? What genocide?
Using the genocide charge to militarize Sudan's oil region|
Genocide was the preferred theme, and Washington was the orchestra conductor. Curiously, while all observers acknowledge that Darfur has seen a large human displacement and human misery and tens of thousands or even as much as 300,000 deaths in the last several years, only Washington and the NGO's close to it use the charged term "genocide" to describe Darfur. If they are able to get a popular acceptance of the charge genocide, it opens the possibility for drastic "regime change" intervention by NATO and de facto by Washington into Sudan's sovereign affairs.
The genocide theme is being used, with full-scale Hollywood backing from the likes of pop stars like George Clooney, to orchestrate the case for a de facto NATO occupation of the region. So far the Sudan government has vehemently refused, not surprisingly.
The US Government repeatedly uses "genocide" to refer to Darfur. It is the only government to do so. US Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey, head of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, said during a USINFO online interview last November 17, "The ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan — a 'gross violation' of human rights — is among the top international issues of concern to the United States." The Bush administration keeps insisting that genocide has been going on in Darfur since 2003, despite the fact that a five-man panel UN mission led by Italian Judge Antonio Cassese reported in 2004 that genocide had not been committed in Darfur, rather that grave human rights abuses were committed. They called for war crime trials.
The above excerpt comes from this link.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ind ... &articleId=5714
In addition there is the following:
Darfur: THE POLITICS OF NAMING
Mahmood Mamdani: Columbia Professor
18 March 2007
...The UN Commission on Darfur was created in the aftermath of the American verdict (that it was genocide) and in response to American pressure. It was more ambiguous. In September 2004, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, then the chairperson of the African Union, visited UN headquarters in New York. Darfur had been the focal point of discussion in the AU. All concerned were alert to the extreme political sensitivity of the issue. At a press conference at the UN on September 23, Obasanjo was asked to pronounce on the violence in Darfur: was it genocide or not? His response was very clear: "Before you can say that this is genocide or ethnic cleansing, we will have to have a definite decision and plan and programme of a government to wipe out a particular group of people, then we will be talking about genocide, ethnic cleansing."
By October, the Security Council had established a commission of inquiry on Darfur and asked it to report in three months on "violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur by all parties", and specifically to determine "whether or not acts of genocide have occurred". Among the members of the commission was Dumisa Ntsebeza, former head of the investigative unit of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In its report, submitted on January 25 2005, the commission concluded that "the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide … directly or through the militias under its control". But the commission did find that the government's violence was "deliberately and indiscriminately directed against civilians". Indeed, "even where rebels may have been present in villages, the impact of attacks on civilians shows that the use of military force was manifestly disproportionate to any threat posed by the rebels". These acts, the commission concluded, "were conducted on a widespread and systematic basis, and therefore may amount to crimes against humanity" (my emphasis).
At the same time, the commission assigned secondary responsibility to rebel forces — namely, members of the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement — which it held "responsible for serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law which may amount to war crimes" (my emphasis).
The journalist in the US most closely identified with consciousness-raising on Darfur is the New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof, often identified as a lone crusader on the issue. To peruse Kristof's Darfur columns over the past three years is to see the reduction of a complex political context to a morality tale unfolding in a world populated by villains and victims who never trade places and so can always and easily be told apart. It is a world where atrocities mount geometrically, the perpetrators so evil and the victims so helpless that the only possibility of relief is a rescue mission from the outside, preferably in the form of a military intervention.
Kristof made six highly publicised trips to Darfur, the first in March 2004 and the sixth two years later. He began by writing of it as a case of "ethnic cleansing": "Sudan's Arab rulers" had "forced 700 000 black African Sudanese to flee their villages" (March 24 2004). Only three days later, he upped the ante: this was no longer ethnic cleansing, but genocide. "Right now," he wrote on March 27, "the government of Sudan is engaged in genocide against three large African tribes in its Darfur region." He continued: "The killings are being orchestrated by the Arab-dominated Sudanese government" and "the victims are non-Arabs: blacks in the Zaghawa, Massalliet and Fur tribes". He estimated the death toll at a thousand a week. Two months later, on May 29, he revised the estimates dramatically upwards, citing predictions from the US Agency for International Development to the effect that "at best, 'only' 100 000 people will die in Darfur this year of malnutrition and disease", but "if things go badly, half a million will die".
The UN commission's report was released on February 25 2005. It confirmed "massive displacement" of persons ("more than a million" internally displaced and "more than 200 000" refugees in Chad) and the destruction of "several hundred" villages and hamlets as "irrefutable facts"; but it gave no confirmed numbers for those killed. Instead, it noted rebel claims that government-allied forces had "allegedly killed over 70 000 persons".
The publication of the commission's report had considerable effect. Internationally, it raised doubts about whether what was going on in Darfur could be termed genocide. Even US officials were unwilling to go along with the high estimates propagated by the broad alliance of organisations that subscribe to the Save Darfur campaign. .."
Genocide? What genocide?