Torn from Home is the Theme of HMD 2019; Darfur Genocide, Force Displacement and the Subsequent Demographic Changes in the Region are all Heinous Crimes that will Inspire Change
“The genocide in Darfur is still ongoing. On #HolocaustMemorialDay, Torn from home encourages audiences to reflect on how the enforced loss of a safe place to call ‘home’ is part of the trauma faced by anyone experiencing persecution and genocide.” HMD
Sunday, 27th January 2019 marks the 74th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in German-occupied Poland “where around 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered by the Nazis between 1940 and 1945”.
The HMD trust has decided to commemorate the anniversary at Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster. The event provides a platform for the genocide survivors and their families to share their legacies, hardship and experience of overcoming adversity through sharing living testimony that life can still go on.
Darfur Union adoptive words for this year :–
#HMD 2019 – a day to remember, reflect, unite, inspire, rebuild, seek justice, downfall of the ICC indictee Omer Albashir #Darfur #HolocaustMemorialDay
The event also provides other survivors the opportunity to tell tragic stories of their persecution. The four other genocides included in the event are Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Dignitaries from HM government, MPs, religious and community leaders, representative of non governmentalorganisations were listening to the survivors of the aforementioned genocides as they shared living testimony of what happened to their families and loved one’s by the hands of the respective perpetrators and how the narrow escape, inspired them to keep going to make life in spite of the painful memories and subsequently live to tell their stories to inspire generations to come. At the end of the event five candle lighting took place which represents the aforementioned 5genocides. Darfur genocide candle was lite by Isam Agieb, survivor of the genocide.
Darfur Union in the UK, The Voice of DarfurianWomen, Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad, Waging Peace and Youth Groups and other civil organisations from Sudan were attending in numbers to take part in the event. The genocide in Darfur is still happening; this issue was addressed by the HMD Trust various media outlet as an ongoing genocide.
As mentioned, this great event was attending by the representative of Sudanese organisations in memory of the victims of all genocides and in particular victims of:-
• Genocide in Darfur and the ethnic cleansing in NubaMountains and Blue Nile,
• Enforced displacement
• Demographic changes in these Provinces (ref. 1)
• Also in support of the ongoing uprising in Sudan against the government
One has to point out that as those words are written, there are many demos are taking place in Sudan calling for the down fall of Bashir and the government of Sudan.
The cause of the popular uprising stage was not only limited to the economic dire state in the country, it was a results of multiple parameters coming together to cause their burst of reaction – one has to mention that the demonstrations across the Sudan have been civil whilst the government of Sudan choosing to use excess force to stop the people from exercising their democratic rights of organizing peaceful demonstrations. Back to the parameters that lead to the current state in the country. First waging of wars across the country and at the same time use the policy of divide and rule to make sure that the rest of the population in other part of the Sudan feeling distant from the war on other areas in the country. The starting point was the ethnic cleansing in South Sudan (then an integral part of the republic of Sudan) – religion and race were used by GoS to fuel the war. The war spread to Darfur where genocide, crimes against the humanity and war crimes were the tools to “tame” the people of Sudan in the region. Race was used in this case as one of the tools to fuel the war. This has lead integration criminal court to indict Omar Bashir for the aforementioned crimes (on 4th March 2009), the only sitting president to be indicted by the ICC (ref. 2). The same scenario followed in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State.
Other parameters that lead to the demos is poverty, the failing health system in the country, education, corruption and above all the harassment and oppression practiced regularly by the government and its followers on the people of Sudan.
All of the above has led some of the people of Sudan to flee out of the country seeking safe refuge across the world by taking dangerous routes to reached safe shores away from dire security state.
It is also very important for the world, particularly all Sudanese to commemorate the date Bashir got indicted by the ICC. The 4th of March represents an important date for the people in Sudan in general, and those in Darfur in particular. It marks the beginning of long lost justice. Going back on memory, one remembers that famous press conference in La Hague, ~ 10 years ago, where Luis Ocampo, the former general prosecutor of the ICC, announced that his team have enough evidence to prosecute Omer Bashir, the sitting president of Sudan, for crimes committed under his commands, that counts for the following:
5 counts for crimes against humanity
2 counts of war crimes
3 counts of genocide
The gathering of evidence of above mentioned crimes were concluded by the 12th of July 2010, under the statue of Rome. Two warrants of arrest issued by the Pre Trial Chamber are out there, and the perpetrator (Bashir) is still at large. Also,ahead of us is the 16th anniversary of the genocide in Darfur region (mid April). Darfur union in the UK will be holding an event commemorating this event on the first week of March,2019, which is a regular event in Darfur Union in the UK calendar (ref. 3).
Events like HMD and meeting survivors from other genocides gives us the hope that it is possible for life to go on, it is possible for the victims to see justice even after the long duration of injustice endured. It teaches us the importance of patience as a virtue, and more important it reminds us to keep promoting our just case and never to be coy in seeking justice or to be apologetic in commemorating important dates which signify the beginning of the prevailing of justice. Darfur Union in the UK would like to thank HMDT staff and the board of trustees for a well organised event. Also, our thanks extend to Waging Peace for their continuous support of the just case of Sudan, as well as for reaching out to all the diaspora in the UK.
Lest we forget the victims of the longest ongoing genocide.
Let us end with a quote from the diary of Anne Frank
“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.”
Head of Comms – Darfur Union in the UK
Twitter handle: @darfurunionuk
Ref. 1: Darfur Report 2017-2018:- Will 2018 Brings a Renewed Hope for Peace in Sudan under Bashir? Thus far… Darfur Begs to Differ
Ref. 2: The Prosecutor vs. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir – ICC-02/05-01/09
Ref. 3: 4th March 2018 commemoration by Darfur Union in the UK