Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Follow us on social
  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

U.N. urged to intervene in Darfur affairs

GENEVA – A U.N. human rights team criticized the international community yesterday for failing to halt atrocities in Darfur, saying in a sharply worded report that the United Nations must act now to protect civilians from a violence campaign orchestrated by Sudan’s government.

The panel, headed by Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams, departed from the usual diplomatic niceties of U.N. reports to accuse major nations of letting Sudan obstruct efforts to quell ethnic fighting that has killed 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million in four years.

The report urged quick U.N. Security Council intervention, the imposition of sanctions and criminal prosecutions of those responsible for atrocities and other abuses.

“Killing of civilians remains widespread, including in large-scale attacks. Rape and sexual violence are widespread and systematic. Torture continues,” it said, adding that rebel groups were behind some abuses but blaming most crimes on the government and its allies.

Sudan’s delegation at the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting declined to comment, saying they would not discuss the report until addressing the body today. Sudanese leaders have denied encouraging violence in Darfur, an arid region with long conflicts over water and arable land.

There was no immediate reaction from other nations, but the team’s findings already drew harsh objections behind the scenes from Sudan’s allies on the rights council, chiefly members of the Organization of Islamic Conference.

It also isn’t clear how the Security Council will respond to the team’s call for urgent action, including travel bans and asset freezes for those accused of rights violations.

Sanctions have not been imposed because the veto-holding permanent “members of the Security Council were divided,” said Jan Pronk, who was chief U.N. envoy to Sudan until last year. China buys two-thirds of Sudan’s oil exports and Russia also has commercial interests in Sudan.

Human rights groups have been calling for the international community to do more to halt the bloodshed, but it is unusual for a U.N.-supported group to be so direct in its criticisms and calls for action.

The team’s report said that while important steps had been taken, including by the African Union and the United Nations, “these have been largely resisted and obstructed, and have proven inadequate and ineffective.”

Williams, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for spearheading the drive for a treaty banning land mines, was more explicit in criticizing the Security Council, which has passed resolutions on Darfur but has been stalled by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in deploying a proposed U.N.-AU peacekeeping force.

“If you’re not prepared to act on what you say, don’t say it,” Williams said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from her home in Virginia.

The conflict began when members of Darfur’s ethnic African tribes rebelled against what they consider decades of neglect and discrimination by the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum. Sudanese leaders are accused of unleashing a pro-government Arab militia, the janjaweed, that has committed many of the conflict’s atrocities.

Some, including the Bush administration, have accused Sudan’s government and its militia allies of pursuing a genocide campaign against ethnic Africans in the region, which now has a population of about 4 million.

The U.N. Human Rights Council commissioned Monday’s report during an emergency session in December.

Williams’ team consulted with aid groups working in the region, met with rebel leaders and refugees in neighboring Chad and consulted with African Union officials. After a 20-day attempt to visit Darfur was thwarted by Sudanese officials, Williams concluded Sudan had no intention of cooperating with the United Nations.

The government “has manifestly failed to protect the population of Darfur from large-scale international crimes, and has itself orchestrated and participated in these crimes,” the report said, adding that “war crimes and crimes against humanity” continued.

“The principal pattern is one of a violent counterinsurgency campaign waged by the government of the Sudan in concert with janjaweed militia, and targeting mostly civilians,” the team said.

It said there were credible reports of “torture, inhumane and degrading treatment” of detainees held by Sudanese security officials.

“The methods used include beatings with whips, sticks and gun butts, prolonged sun exposure, starvation, electrocution, and burning with hot candle wax or molten plastic,” the report said.

The report also said rebel forces are guilty of serious abuses, including rape and torture of civilians.

Williams said some rebels should probably be tried alongside Sudanese officials and janjaweed militia members. “But I think that the overwhelming burden of guilt lies with the government and the militia,” she said in the telephone interview.

Last month, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, linked Sudan’s government to atrocities in Darfur, naming a junior minister as a war crimes suspect for allegedly helping recruit, arm and bankroll the janjaweed.

Ahmed Muhammed Harun, the former junior interior minister responsible for Darfur, and a janjaweed militia leader, Ali Mohammed Ali Abd-al-Rahman, also known as Ali Kushayb, are suspected of a total of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said.


Associated Press writers Frank Jordans and Eliane Engeler contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *