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    290368

    Targeting the Fur: mass killings in Darfur. A Human Rights Watch briefing paper.

    Human Rights Watch

    New York, New York, Human Rights Watch, 2005 Jan 21. 22 p.

    Since February 2003, Darfur has been the scene of massive crimes against civilians of particular ethnicities in the context of an internal conflict between the Sudanese government and a rebel insurgency. Almost two million people have been forcibly displaced and stripped of all their property and tens of thousands of people have been killed, raped or assaulted. Even against this backdrop of extreme violence against civilians, several incidents in March 2004 stand out for the extraordinary level of brutality demonstrated by the perpetrators. In one incident, Sudanese government and “Janjaweed” militia forces detained and then conducted mass executions of more than 200 farmers and community leaders of Fur ethnicity in the Wadi Saleh area of West Darfur. In a second incident in neighboring Shattaya locality, government and militia forces attacked Fur civilians, detained them in appalling conditions for weeks, and subjected many to torture. To date, the Sudanese government has neither improved security for civilians nor ended the impunity enjoyed by its own officials and allied militia leaders. Immediate action including an increased international presence in rural areas of Darfur is needed to improve protection of civilians and reverse ethnic cleansing. International prosecutions are also essential to provide accountability for crimes against humanity and ensure justice for the victims in Darfur. The Sudanese government is clearly unwilling and unable to hold perpetrators of atrocities to account: a presidential inquiry into abuses recently disputed evidence of widespread and systematic abuses and instead of prosecutions, recommended the formation of a committee. The United Nations Security Council, following receipt of the January 25th report of the international commission of inquiry’s investigation into violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law and allegations of genocide in Darfur, should promptly refer the situation of Darfur to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. (excerpt)
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