Home | News    Friday 15 April 2005

US’s Zoellick signals that violence in Darfur is not genocide

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Guy Dinmore, The Financial Times

KHARTOUM, Apr 15, 2005 — Robert Zoellick, US deputy secretary of state, on Thursday put pressure on the Sudanese government to stop the violence in Darfur but backed away from the Bush administration’s assertion that the mass killings and village burning amounted to genocide.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick addresses a news conference in Khartoum Thursday, April 14, 2005. (AFP).

Mr Zoellick is the first senior US official to travel to Khartoum since Congress was told last September that a long US inquiry had determined the Sudanese government and allied janjaweed militia were responsible for genocide in the western region.

But at a press conference after meeting Ali Osman Taha, vice-president, Mr Zoellick was clearly unwilling to repeat that assertion. "I don’t want to get into a debate over terminology," he said, when asked if the US believed genocide was still being committed in Darfur against mostly African villagers by Arab militia and their government backers.

He said it was Colin Powell, the former secretary of state, who had "made the point" in his testimony to Congress.

Nonetheless, Mr Zoellick did speak of "crimes against humanity", in line with the findings of a United Nations commission of inquiry. He said he had emphasised to the Sudanese government the need for accountability through sanctions and legal processes, referring to the UN resolution that sent the issue of Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

Mr Zoellick, who is to make a quick visit to Darfur today, also proposed to the government that it start using its own courts and make the process transparent.

Estimates of the numbers of dead from the conflict vary hugely. The Bush administration says 60,000-160,000 people have died from fighting, disease and famine.

Aid organisations say that the death toll is closer to 300,000.

Whether to describe the violence in Darfur as genocide became a heated issue in Washington last year. Mr Powell was under intense domestic pressure, notably from Christian lobby groups, to reach the genocide definition.

But some officials argued against, saying the debate over words was irrelevant and time-wasting and would prejudice efforts to finalise a separate peace accord ending decades of civil war between Khartoum and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the south.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


The shifting centres of gravity of JCE regime. 2017-09-25 07:05:03 By Oyet Nathaniel Pierino Did they know that it was going to be protracted and catastrophic? From the war song that was sung in nyakuron Saturday 14th, December 2013 to the attempted disarmament (...)

Open Letter to Ambassador Donald Y. Yamamoto 2017-09-23 07:09:30 To The Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. September 21 , 2016 By Stephen Par Kuol Your Excellency Ambassador Yamamoto: (...)

Sudan’s renegade Sheikh 2017-09-12 12:44:55 By Ahmed H Adam Tensions between the Sudanese regime and militia commander Sheikh Musa Hilal has reached a tipping point in recent weeks. On July 20, Sudanese Vice President Hassabo Abdel (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Amnesty calls to release Nubian activists detained over protest for cultural rights 2017-09-12 20:47:54 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE 12 September 2017 Egypt: Release 24 Nubian activists detained after protest calling for respect of their cultural rights Egyptian authorities should (...)

New group formed to gather Nuer in United States 2017-08-17 14:15:50 DECLARATION FOR THE FORMATION OF NUD TO BRING TOGETHER ALL NUER IN THE U.S.A Press Statement The Nuer Union For Development (NUD) The United State of America The State of Nebraska August 15, (...)

A prominent Sudan Women and Civil rights activist passed away 2017-08-14 21:09:47 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Khartoum, Sudan-August 14 2017 In the early hours of Saturday 12th August Fatima Ahmed Ibrahim, a renowned Sudanese leader of the (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.