Justice for Darfur Campaign- Don’t let President Bashir Get Away with Murder
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From July 12th-July 17th, Darfur Women Action Group invites you to join us to call upon the international community to fulfill their responsibility in pursuing justice for the horrendous crimes committed in Darfur. July 12th is the seventh anniversary of the ICC arrest warrant against al-Bashir and his genocidal campaign and July 17th is International Justice Day.
Pretext of the Crisis
Since 1989, Omar al-Bashir has been President of Sudan, after coming to power in a military coup. He has ruled the country with an iron fist, and was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for the world's most reprehensible atrocities; genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Above all, this has continued to occur in Darfur, where the eyes of the world have been drawn away while al-Bashir remains a free man allowed to continue his genocidal policies in the region, as well as other regions of Sudan. Because of inaction by the world’s leaders Bashir’s campaign continued to go unabated.
Beginning in 2002, the government of Sudan initiated its genocidal campaign against the indigenous people of Darfur. Arab Janjaweed militiamen, along with the Sudanese arms forces jointly continue to carry on scorched earth strategy in order to terrorize, murder, rape, and displace the Darfuri population. In the first two years, over 300,000 people were killed, while another three million were forced out of their homes. 13 years on, millions continue to live in makeshift camps, and over four million Darfuri men, women and children depend on aid assistance. Consequently, this horror has resulted in forcing humanitarians agencies out and restricted access for lifesaving aid needed to ease suffering.
Sustained Violence and Resurgence
The conflict shows little sign of abating for more than a decade. The genocide continues and further escalated in the last 4 years more than ever before. Over 460,000 Darfuris were displaced in 2013, while another 500,000 were displaced in 2014, and over 233,000 people were displaced in the first quarter of 2015. In one day alone on October 31st, 2014, 221 women and girls were raped in Tabit village and the perpetrators have suffered no consequences. Regrettably this is not an isolated incident, it is the systematic tactics and deliberate policies of the regime, which continues to use rape as a weapon of war in Darfur including within the displacement camps. Other ways people are targeted include college students who dare speak out against the regime’s policies, who are abducted, imprisoned and sometimes killed.
On December 18th and 19th, 2015, 700 Darfuri refugees who had fled the country to escape the genocide were suddenly and forcibly deported from Jordan back to Sudan to face the very regime that they had fled. In a statement released in the same month, the Sudanese Vice President Hassabu Mohamed Abdalrahman declared the government’s plan to end displacement by 2017. Its not the end of the conflict but it indicates the government intend to wipeout even the most helpless diplaced in their camps.
At the beginning of 2016, a new surge of violence, using the same strategy of the Sudanese government’s “scorched earth” campaign had begun again. With a renewed determination, Bashir has made it his goal to exterminate the Darfuri population through intensive air bombing and ground troops attacks against civilians as it has been witnessed in areas of Jebel Marra and in West Darfur states.
Information Control, International Amnesia and Darfur's Isolation
The lack of action and attention in Darfur is compelling enough to create this petition. Omar al-Bashir has continuously expelled humanitarian organizations working to save lives and forbidden them from reentry. Media blackouts occur at the same time, in order to ensure that Darfur remains isolated from not only the outside world, but the rest of Sudan. Journalists and reporters are banned from entering the conflict zones, while UNAMID forces sent in from other countries to help quell the violence have been undermined in their mission by being strictly controlled and restricted by the Sudanese government in carrying out their duties.
The Importance of Your Voice
This July marks the 7th anniversary of Bashir's second indictment by the International Criminal Court for the crimes of genocide. He has successfully blocked access to information in Darfur, enabling him to get away with his past atrocities, which only reveals the possibility of it occurring again and again.
This petition will be sent to all members of the UN Security Council, in order to obligate them demonstrate commitment to the international criminal justice and accountability for Bashir of Bashir's genocideal policies. By signing and spreading this petition to your friends, family, neighbors’ and strangers alike, we can bring much-needed attention to a horrible situation that has gone on for far too long. Exposing Bashir's crimes is one thing, bringing attention to world leaders failure to act with our collective outrage about how they have responded to the 13 year crisis is another opportiunity. Our leaders possess all the resources and the power necessary to bring about a legally-binding actions to bring Bashir to justice, and if we can all speak together the will of global citizens like yourself cannot be ignored forever.
We must make it clear to Bashir and people like him that impunity for genocide crimes is not an option, and that they will be held accountable for their crimes. July 12th is the seventh anniversary of the ICC arrest warrant against al-Bashir and his genocidal campaign and July 17th is International Justice Day. These two dates are highly significant for the victims of Darfur and for those fighting for justice like you and I. Please help us make our voice louder and tell our leaders that in the face of genocide they must not look the other way. They have the responsibility to pursue justice and make criminals liable, as well as the power to do so. We should not let this opportunity pass.
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