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UN Report Accuses Sudanese Goverment of Darfur Attacks

UN Report Accuses Sudanese Goverment of Darfur AttacksThe United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) today issued a report highlighting government complicity in attacks on civilians in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan.  The UNHCR called for an "immediate and independent investigation" into atrocities committed by Sudanese intelligence officers.  The report highlights violence over a land dispute between two ethnic groups in the Bulbul region of Sudan.  According to the report, witnesses describe indiscriminate heavy machine gun and rocket propelled grenade attacks by attackers identified as Border Intelligence personnel.  The attackers then entered the villages, shooting the men and burning large portions of the settlements.

The report highlights events from January 6 to March 31 in which over 100 people were killed and thousands displaced.  The large scale attacks began in January, though the worst occurred on March 31, resulting in more than 60 people targeted and killed.  Despite evidence presented to the Sudanese government, there has been no effective government action taken to prevent the attacks.  The villagers did, however, respond in self-defense, killing several and collecting military identification cards from the Sudan Border Intelligence Guards, or Popular Police.  An earlier report from experts led by the US Nobel laureate, Jody Williams, stated the Sudanese government led by President Omar al-Bashir was responsible for organizing attacks on civilians.  The UNHCR report concludes "that Sudan is failing to protect the human rights" of civilians and that "the ongoing impunity for these crimes is of great concern and is a violation of Sudan's obligations under international law."

Sudan recently granted a UN deployment of 3,000 peacekeepers to supplement the African Union forces currently in place.  Over 200,000 people have been murdered with over 2.5 million displaced in Sudan since 2003.  With cries of "never again" reverberating throughout the international community, incidents such as those highlighted by the most recent UNHCR report suggest these cries are noticeably soft.




Daniel Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer for United Press International covering Iraq, Afghanistan and the broader Levant. He has published works on international and constitutional law pertaining to US terrorism cases and on child soldiers. His first major work, entitled The United States and Israel: The Implications of Alignment, is featured in the text, Strategic Interests in the Middle East: Opposition or Support for US Foreign Policy. He holds a MA in Diplomacy and International Conflict Management from Norwich University, where his focus was international relations theory, international law, and the role of non-state actors.

Areas of Focus:International law; Middle East; Government and Politics; non-state actors