Is Genocide Still a Scary Label?

This month’s contribution is by Fata Acquoi, who recently graduated with a double major in Sociology and Political Science at the UMN. She intends on pursuing a graduate degree in Human Rights. Her contribution is a snippet of a class assignment that focused on the role of the international community in dealing with alleged perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocity.

Ugandan President Museveni (right) greets Omar al-Bashir at the former’s inauguration in Kampala. Photo by PPU, courtesy the Daily Monitor

The conflict in Darfur has widely been recognized as the first “genocide” of the twenty-first century. Though this recognition is well-known, the 2008 joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission to Darfur failed to stop the genocide, and more specifically the ethnic-cleansing program enacted by the current regime in Darfur. This included rape and torture of women and children. According to the Sudan Democracy First Group, a coalition of civil society organizations, there are about two million Internally Displaced Persons in Darfur, of which over 200,000 were displaced in 2015 alone. This suffering is widely felt throughout Darfur, and has not diminished, though it seems that concern for these people by the international community certainly has diminished.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued warrants for Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the head of the Sudanese regime for more than twenty-five years. These warrants are for crimes against humanity and multiple counts of genocide. Though nations have been notified about the warrants for al-Bashir’s arrest, it is unlikely that we will see his prosecution. Continue reading “Is Genocide Still a Scary Label?”