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U.S. Slowed Justice for Genocide Perpetrators

By jimstaro - Posted on 02 February 2011

U.S. Opposition to International Criminal Court in 2004-2005 Held Up Peacekeeping, Slowed Justice for Genocide Perpetrators

New Book Analyzes Disconnects Between Save Darfur Movement, U.S. Policy, the United Nations, and Events on the Ground in Sudan

Rebecca Hamilton's "Fighting For Darfur" draws on 150 Interviews, First-hand reporting, and dozens of Freedom of Information releases

Documents provide blistering assessments of policy failure, humanitarian disaster

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 335

February 1, 2011 - The U.S. government’s opposition to the International Criminal Court held up deployments of peacekeeping forces in Sudan and slowed the eventual indictment of Sudanese leaders who perpetrated genocide in Darfur, according to the new book, Fighting for Darfur, by Rebecca Hamilton, and documents she obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, posted today by the National Security Archive.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations predicted a “train wreck” on Darfur policy in January 2005 because the U.S. “has been adamant that it will not agree in any way to support or give legitimacy to the ICC,” and the European Union and other allies disagreed, thus “hamper[ing] efforts to advance US priorities in peacekeeping operations” and leading to “an awkward and ultimately political untenable position” for the U.S.

The documents include bleak assessments of the humanitarian tragedy in Darfur over years of policy failure, beginning with a 2004 cable reporting on Secretary of State Colin Powell’s trip to Sudan and meeting with the Sudanese head of state Omar al-Bashir, who would be indicted by the ICC in 2009 for crimes against humanity, and in 2010 for genocide. Powell himself would publicly pronounce the Darfur tragedy a “genocide” in September 2004, but the lack of coordination and support for this position within the U.S. government meant little tangible followup occurred, according to the book.

By 2007, the documents show, the U.S. national envoy for Sudan would brief the Deputy Secretary of State that “the GOS [government of Sudan] is continuing large-scale population displacement, but apparently they are not killing people when they destroy villages.” {continued}


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