February 3rd, 2014
Is Genocide Occurring in Sudan?
On the 28th January 2014, HART and René Cassin hosted a panel discussion entitled ‘Is Genocide Occurring in Sudan?’ detailing what constitutes ‘-genocide-’ under international law and exploring human rights violations facing South Kordofan and the Blue Nile States. Ian Morley QC of 23 Essex Street provided an insight into the legalities of genocide and Baroness Cox outlined the humanitarian issues in Sudan at present.
It is clear that tensions are building for a large-scale genocide in Sudan, which can be seen by the way President al-Bashir dehumanises those he oppresses using derogatory phrases such as ‘Black Plastic’. 3.2 million people across the country are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, but are denied access by their own government. People in the Blue Nile State and Nuba Mountains are forced to flee and hide in caves, under trees or in river banks to survive constant aerial bombardments. Desperation is increasing as people cannot return to valleys to harvest or plant crops and many have already perished through starvation.
Baroness Cox outlined ideas which will pressurise the government to act. She suggested writing to MPs, MEPs and pressurising the British government to subsequently put pressure on the government in Khartoum to allow cross-border aid, food and medical supplies to victims. She urged people not to give up on advocacy until it is resolved. Health implications surrounding the prohibition of aid can be used as leverage to persuade the government to take action. For example, if there is no access to vaccinations, resistant forms of TB, diphtheria or polio can mutate and cross borders. We have talked to the government now for two decades. Clearly more must be done to protect the rights of those living in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States and allow their voices to be heard!
To read about this event and issues raised in more detail, please see the attached document.
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