Two New Investigations Provide Fresh Evidence of "Genocidal Intent" in Darfur
A pattern is emerging
Genocide is a unique crime in international law.
The systematic killing of a large number of individuals that belong to the same ethnic, religious or similar group does not necessarily constitute genocide. It is certainly a crime against humanity, but genocide implies something more sinister than just killing many people from the same group. Rather, what distinguishes genocide in international law is that the predicate crimes against humanity (killing, rape, forcible displacement, etc) are pursued with the intent to “to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, in whole or in part.” In other words, to establish that a genocide is underway, you need to find evidence that crimes are committed with the specific goal of wiping out a group.
Yesterday, two separate investigative reports offered some evidence to suggest just that: The paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, in their ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, may be committing acts of genocide. These investigations drew on eyewitness accounts, satellite data, the testimony of survivors and interviews with victims of sexual violence in Western Darfur. All the violence was directed at the same ethnic group.
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