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Sudan Fails to Comply With UN Mandate - Human Rights Group
September 2, 2004

Physicians for Human Rights (Boston)

September 2, 2004
Posted to the web September 2, 2004


Contact: John Heffernan 617 413 6407; 202 728 5335 ext 304

Barbara Ayotte 617 695 0041 ext 210; 617 549 -0152;


The Government of Sudan has failed on virtually every count to comply with a Security Council resolution demanding it disarm its militias and assure humanitarian access to the over one million displaced Sudanese, says Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). The medical organization which listed indicators of genocide following a field investigation to the Chad/Sudan border in June/July, calls upon the Secretary General and members of the Security Council to urgently confront the continuing atrocities and humanitarian crisis in Darfur with a new resolution. In the face of overwhelming evidence that Sudan has no intent of complying fully with the current resolution, PHR strongly urges the Security Council not to extend the already expired 30-day deadline, but instead to impose sanctions and invoke humanitarian intervention under UN Chapter VII in order to save lives.

Reliable eyewitness reports from Darfur by UN officials, government delegations and diplomats, humanitarian agencies, human rights organizations and independent journalists indicate that over the past 30 days, with the eyes of the world on Sudan, the desperate situation continues to deteriorate as the level of human suffering expands. Attacks on civilians including the rape of women and girls, the presence of Sudanese camps from which the attacks are staged, harassment of internally displaced persons returning home to insecure villages, no legitimate attempt to bring Janjaweed perpetrators to justice, continued restricted access and failure to facilitate logistics are just a few examples of insufficient Sudanese compliance with the UN resolution. The massive emergency relief and protection efforts, urgently needed, require that a far more robust response, amounting to a humanitarian intervention, be supported by the UN.

Therefore, PHR calls on the UN Security Council to enact a new resolution which:

authorizes humanitarian intervention under Chapter VII that provides for the protection of the immediate unimpeded delivery of emergency relief to all those in need within Sudan; authorizes the African Union military monitoring force to provide protection of the civilian population from attacks by Janjaweed and government forces; authorizes immediate strict sanctions against the government of Sudan until such time as it assures a permissive environment for the AU force and unhampered humanitarian assistance to those in urgent need of food, shelter, and medical care throughout Western Sudan; instructs the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation of crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur and to act upon its findings by prosecuting those individuals its deems responsible for crimes committed by the government of Sudan, its proxy forces and rebel forces that fall within its mandate.

PHR recognizes that the ICC was created to address genocide and crimes against humanity when there is no prospect of accountability within the country where they occur. Sudan, which has not ratified the ICC, is a textbook case of a state committing mass abuses against its own citizens, who have little prospect of finding relief or justice from a state that persecutes them. Although ICC operations have only recently commenced, the scope and scale of the crimes in Darfur require that it act.

Warning that "delay equals death," Physicians for Human Rights criticized the Security Council for its weak response to the genocidal campaign orchestrated by the Government of Sudan which has utterly destroyed the lives and livelihoods of over 1 million non-Arab Darfurians. The lines of evidence PHR advances in its list of indicators of genocide include: consistent pattern of attacks on villages, consistent pattern of destruction of villages, consistent pattern of destruction of livelihoods and conditions of life, consistent pattern of hot pursuit with intent to eradicate villagers, consistent pattern of targeting non-Arabs and consistent pattern of systematic rape of women. The organization warns that if security and humanitarian relief are not dramatically upgraded, hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths from disease, starvation, and exposure could occur in the coming months.

"The international community has had many months in which to confront the government of Sudan and save its victims from what appears to be an intent to systematically effect group annihilation. The Security Council has dithered while wholesale destruction of communities along ethnic lines, deliberate violence against civilians, and disease and starvation caused by forced displacement unfold again in Africa," stated PHR executive director Leonard S. Rubenstein. "The U.N. and its member states are as morally responsible now for failing to intervene to stop genocide in Sudan as they were for failing to respond to genocide in Rwanda ten years ago."

Physicians for Human Rights also calls upon the United States and Europe to provide significant resources to the African Union force - the primary protection option currently available - which include trainers, helicopters, transport, military planning, communications, and financing, in such quantities that will permit an increase in its numbers to at least 3,000 capable troops.

Additional funding is also needed on an immediate basis for United Nations organizations providing assistance in both Chad and Sudan. An additional $445 million for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR), UNICEF, World Food Programmme ( WFP) and other United Nations operations in calendar year 2004 alone is urgently needed. This includes both new appeals as well as shortfalls in past appeals this year. The U.S. share of this shortfall is $135 million . Physicians for Human Rights calls upon President Bush to request this additional contribution for U.N. operations in Sudan and for Congress to appropriate these funds on an urgent basis when it reconvenes in September.

PHR investigators, Jennifer Leaning, MD and John Heffernan, who traveled to Eastern Chad to document past and ongoing atrocities of alleged violations of international humanitarian law, are available for comment. Leaning, a PHR board member and physician and public health expert, who has led health and human rights investigations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Rwanda, the Congo, Somalia, Israel and Palestine, teaches a course at Harvard School of Public Health on humanitarian disasters and international humanitarian law. Heffernan, a PHR staff member, has directed refugee and humanitarian relief programs in Sudan, and the former Yugoslavia. Heffernan is the former Executive Director of the Coalition for International Justice.

For more on PHR's work in Sudan, please visit

Founded in 1986, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), based in Boston, MA, mobilizes the health professions to promote health by protecting human rights. As a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, PHR shared the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.


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