UNSC dithers on Darfur

It’s happening again.

There is a critical issue facing the UN and all they can do is dither and disagree.

This time its’ Darfur.

The UN report has come back and stated Genocide is not happening in the Sudan, however, very serious war crimes happening that deserve sanctions and even more serious action by the UNSC:

The report states quite plainly:

The conclusion that no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the government should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes

So why is the UNSC so divided, AGAIN?

The BBC has the lowdown:

  1. The report names, in secret, several suspected war criminals and recommends they be sent to the ICC
  2. The US has never supported the ICC (Someone please explain to me what they have to fear that every other country DOESN”T share?), but everyone else does.
  3. The US wants sanctions and a larger UN/AU peacekeeping force (good thing!), but some other Council members don’t want to get involved and even only want economic sanctions for now.

It’s the same old thing over and over… and in the meantime, the death toll in Darfur climbs past 300,000 (CBC)

The US insists that Genocide is happening… that’s fine. While the report itself doesn’t support that, it does lay out very clearly that intervention is needed and that Sudanese and other officials need to be prosecuted for their crimes.

But again the UNSC is paralyzed by its’ own rules and inflexibility.

For what it’s worth (and that’s probably not much), Australia, Canada and New Zealand have co-signed and sent a letter to the UNSC urging action.

It’s clear, frankly, that the situation in Darfur is worsening. It’s not getting better,” said Australia’s UN Ambassador John Dauth.

I have downloaded the Darfur report, you can grab it from this link.

I’ll see if I can get my hands on the letter from Australia, Canada and NZ as well.

4 replies on “UNSC dithers on Darfur”

  1. I find it infuriating that the UN drags it’s feet in accomplishing the mission it was formed to address. This haggling over the definition of genocide is exactly why the raison d’etre for the UN is called into questioned. People who are being slaughtered don’t care if it’s called genocide, ethnic cleansing or systemic murder. They know that their neighbors, their relatives and their immediate family is on somebody’s hit list and they see the dead around them. They have the right to live and to be rescued from such horrendous evil. I don’t know how people at the UN working at a high level can live with themselves. It seems to me that the UN is part of the problem and not part of the solution. My disgust is capable of no higher level. These people are dispicable.

    Color me livid.

  2. As a US citizen, I’d have to guess that what we fear from the world court is the love/hate relationship the rest of the world has with us. Love the money, hate us. That’s fine, you don’t have to agree with US foreign policy. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But it would suck to have a US citizen dragged before the ICC on charges because they were following the US governmental policy & laws. It sets up the “who sets the rules” issue that the US has wrestled with internally for it’s entire life. Half of the country wants rules to be set at the lowest possible level -preferrably city or county. An international body is the highest possible level, and the idea of a body trumping the interests of the country doesn’t sit well with a lot of people.

    That’s my two cents, take it for what it’s worth.

  3. Thanks Cheryl.

    I guess I, and perhaps the countries that do support the ICC, look at it like this:

    There are hundreds of countries in the world.

    Each one has it’s own enemies that might think of accusing their own citizen of crimes to be prosecuted at the ICC.

    Does the US have more enemies than other countries? Perhaps… though I think it has far more friends and allies.

    The key is that the ICC cannot prosecute anyone that is presented to it. There are strict guidelines as to when someone can be summoned to the ICC. The most common is for a war crime, even with Abu Graib, I don’t see Americans being sent to The Hague for war crimes. Innocence before Guilt still applies.

    Should all war criminals not be sent to the same court… should they not all fear the same fate?

    I guess that’s the basis of that argument for the ICC.

    In the case, it doesn’t matter much… it’s just the fact that the US position on the ICC, along with all the other stupid squabbles between UNSC members, is yet another factor that has made the UNSC completely unable to do anything about anything.

  4. Honestly, I have to admit that in the last 3-4 years, my view of the UN has gone from “very cool, very necessary institution” to “worthless, corrupt, waste of time and money”. I used to laugh at the “Get US out of the UN” signs, now I’m thinking more like…hmmmm….

    I think in asking if the US thinks it has more enemies than the rest of the world (to which I would say “absolutely!” Who hates Canada??), you’re assuming that we think that every other country should be involved in the ICC. We don’t. The feeling is “you’re adults, you can make your own decisions…but it isn’t for us” (well the country wide version of that).

    Got to run (doggone work!), so I apologize for not addressing the rest of your questions, I’ll try to get back later!

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