Since February 2002, the people of Sudan in Darfur have been subjected to mountainous crimes which lead the ICC to prosecute Omer Bashir (1), 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 was 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.
The other aspect of the crimes which is unaccounted for is the demographic changes in the province where new settlers are brought by the government and are given the lands of the displayed people. The overall goal from this act plus the conversions of the IDP camps into villages/ mini towns is to diminish the evidence of the crimes committed over the years by the government of Sudan (GoS).
That is exactly what is has happened in the village of Kuguli, where it was announced on September the first, 2016 that a new council will be set up and it will be given to the new settlers. The official ceremony will take place on October the first 2016. The original people/ native are from the African tribes (mainly Zaghawa, Fur and others). However, over the past years, and with more people fleeing the prosecution, the GoS brought new settlers from Shattia Arab tribe, to whom the council leadership has been granted. This is not an isolated incident; it has been happening across the region.
*The use of forbidden weapons by GoS in Darfur*
Amnesty International has issued a report on Thursday 29th September 2016 (2), regarding the atrocities which took place in western Darfur From January 2016 up to date, with particular emphasis on the use of chemical weapon in Jebel Marra, which lead to killing of children, poisoning of sources of water and displacement of a quarter of a million people (by July 2016). All of the aforementioned heinous crimes came partly because of lack of accountability from the international community. Even worse is the resumption of relation between the government of Sudan and major players such as the EU, and not to mention the Khartoum process, where GoS received hundred of millions of euros to establish detention centres for refugees from the Horn of Africa destined to Europe.
The people of Sudan believe that the change of policies/ approach by the US, UK and the EU toward Sudan has given the GoS the green light to resume its genocidal plans in Darfur, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains.
Darfur Union in the UK among other civil society organisations plea to the UK government, US and EU and other major players in the international community to continue their efforts to end the suffering of our people by addressing the following:
The process of restructuring UNAMID to be a fully oriented force towards protecting Darfur’s displaced, and also to be more committed to documenting and addressing the aerial bombardment against civilian targets.
Darfur Union in the United Kingdom calls upon the international community to put pressure on the government of Sudan to stop targeting the civilian population of Darfur. Also to allow the humanitarian organisations to have full access to treat the wounded, and provide aid to the displaced people.
The peace process and negotiations needs an independent mediator. We ask major players (US, UK and EU) to be part of the process given Britain’s historic ties with Sudanand due to the current mediators seeming bias towards protecting dictatorships in the region.
We ask the international community to continue its support of the international criminal court and also should push countries not to receive President Bashir for visits. The UK should also urge the ICC to amend arrest warrants in light of recent atrocities and consider advocating for expansion of the mandate to include atrocities committed in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and other parts of Sudan.
It is high time for the world to live to its pledge of NEVER AGAIN.
Together we can make a difference and give a voice to the voiceless.
Deputy Press Officer, Darfur Union in the United Kingdom
Twitter handle: @darfurunionuk
(1) The Prosecutor vs. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir – ICC-02/05-01/09
(2) Amnesty International Report on Darfur – 29 September 2016