Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ongoing Breaches of the Genocide Convention in the Darfur Region of Sudan

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Special Message from Irwin Cotler

When I was a parliamentarian and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, I used every means – both inside and outside of parliament – to mobilize political will to arrest the first genocide of the 21st century, launched in Darfur in 2003.

I could never have anticipated that the calls to action that I shared twenty years ago in parliament, at Save Darfur Rallies, and in international forum would apply equally today, and would resonate so painfully and tragically.

Our Centre’s comprehensive report demonstrates in chilling detail that the same perpetrators of genocide twenty years ago – now under the flag of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – are committing genocide against the Masalit people and non-Arab tribes in Darfur.

Our report is a wake-up call for the international community and puts the genocidaires and their sponsors on notice that they will be held accountable. It provides the substantive legal framework for justice and accountability for international institutions, NGOs, governments, parliaments, and courts to act upon.

Twenty years ago, the international community at least acknowledged the genocidal atrocities, though it utterly failed to take the necessary action to prevent them. Today, one can only feel shocked – if not betrayed – by the ongoing level of indifference and impunity in the face of another genocide that is being effectively silenced and sanitized.

The responsibility to prevent, punish, and put an end to genocide is not a policy option, but an international legal obligation of the highest order.

The prevailing culture of indifference, impunity, and complicity enabled the current escalation of mass atrocities to reach the point of genocide. But today, we can no longer look away and say we do not know.

We now know, and we must act.

Irwin Cotler

International Chair, RWCHR

Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Published by Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights

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