The Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI) of American Jewish Committee (AJC) has urged the U.S. and other nations to protect non-Arab groups facing a serious risk of genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and to bring an end to brutal attacks against them.

Since violent conflict erupted in Sudan in April, numerous violations of international humanitarian law have been carried out, reportedly by each of the principal parties to the conflict – the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). However, some patterns of violations the RSF and militias allied with it have committed in the Darfur region are of particular concern.

"The reported violations being documented in Darfur are a shameful reminder of the consequences of inadequately responding to risks of genocide," said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. "AJC and JBI have previously appealed for effective international action to respond to the genocide committed from 2003-05 against some of the same non-Arab groups in Darfur that are, sadly, once again being targeted today.”

Deutch added that “as friends of the people of Sudan and as dedicated supporters of the hopes and aspirations of the 2019 revolution, AJC remains committed to helping to realize the vision of a free, safe, and prosperous Sudan for all of its people.”

JBI’s new publication, The Escalating Risk of Genocide in Darfur, Sudan: Urgent Appeal for Protection, summarizes photographic evidence, satellite imagery, and testimonies published as of August 20. It indicates that at least six “human rights-related risk factors for genocide,” developed by JBI in cooperation with the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, are present in Darfur, and have been committed by the RSF and allied militias against non-Arab groups, particularly the Masalit.

They include the widespread commission of the following patterns of human rights violations targeting ethnic groups that are protected by the Genocide Convention:

  • Killing or enforced disappearance, including of community leaders
  • Rape and other forms of sexual violence
  • Expropriation or destruction of property with no legal recourse or compensation.
  • Destruction of subsistence food, water and medical supplies, including humanitarian aid
  • The forcible transfer of populations
  • Severe restrictions on the right of freedom of movement

For the most part, international actors and foreign governments seeking to end the broader conflict in Sudan have not responded to mounting evidence that a serious risk of genocide exists in Darfur, the JBI statement said.

While welcoming the August 9 warning by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield to the UN Security Council that “History is repeating itself–in the most tragic way possible” in Darfur, JBI called for the U.S. and other governments to take additional actions in line with the obligation in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide for States, to “employ all means reasonably available” to prevent genocide from taking place. JBI called on the U.S. and other governments to:

  • Express concern about the risk of genocide in Darfur at the highest levels of leadership and to take actions aimed at addressing this risk
  • Limit the ability of the RSF and allied militias to obtain weapons and other support that enable them to carry out ethnically motivated violence in Darfur
  • Take measures to protect civilians in Darfur and Sudanese refugees in Chad and ensure they have access to humanitarian aid
  • Engage Darfuri stakeholders in negotiations to end the conflict in Sudan
  • Encourage UN leaders to undertake fact-finding efforts that assess whether the obligation to prevent genocide has been triggered in Sudan and avoid repeating past failures to clearly warn international audiences that evidence of a risk of genocide exists

Since its inception in 1971, JBI has conducted and supported original research and policy analyses of central issues in the field of human rights. Working through international organizations, it seeks to encourage effective responses to serious violations and prevent the commission of atrocities including genocide.

AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York City, 25 offices across the United States, and 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 39 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world.


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