Home | Comment & Analysis    Sunday 24 August 2008

ICC and eastern Sudan crimes


By Dr Abu Amna

August 23, 2008 — It is not only in Darfur where Omer Bashir and his government are practicing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Even in the north-eastern Sudan similar crimes are taking place, but not in that extent.

The sufferings of the people there are just unbelievable.

Beja people are subject to permanent famines, starvation, chronic diseases like tuberculosis, malnutrition, severe anemia, etc. The mortality rate among children and women is the highest in the country. The government in Khartoum left them alone, so that they can face their ultimate extinction in a few years. The statistics relieve, that their number is drastically diminishing. Some Beja tribes have already completely vanished from earth. The rest may follow, if the civil societies and the global NGOs do not intervene.

Drinking water is very scarce even in big towns of the east. Illiteracy is very high and the Beja language is completely suppressed.

The government accelerates this process by killing the Beja people using its forces and land mines.

As an example a massacre occurred in Port Sudan in January 2005, where 22 Beja were shot down, and more than 400 injured, including women and children. They were shot down by the government forces brought by plane from Khartoum. The governor of the Red Sea estate admitted later, that the demonstration of the Beja people was peaceful and that there was just a misunderstanding.

This happened when the Beja of Port Sudan organized a peaceful demonstration demanding peace, federal rule, development and democracy.

Beside this the government forces killed many civilians mainly women and children during skirmishes between the forces of the Beja Congress and the Sudanese army between 1995 and 2005.

Many Beja die even today due to explosion of land mines put down in the north-eastern region by the authorities of Khartoum.

The government kills the Beja people directly using force and land mines on one side and on the other by leaving them alone to face famines, natural disasters, diseases and extinction.

This amounts to an act against humanity, racial cleansing, and mass murder.

The crimes committed in Darfur and eastern Sudan are of the same nature, although they differ in their magnitude.

Actually the trial of the accused in Sudan proved to be impossible. The international community is requested to take action and bring these criminals to the international court, as has been done with Darfur criminals.

As the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, is the global network which supports movements to promote peace, human rights protection and the rule of law, the Beja people, would like to appeal to it to take all necessary and effective measures to bring those who committed crimes against humanity, racial cleansing, mass murder in north-eastern Sudan to the ICC. International pressure is necessary to push forward for an arrest warrant for all those involved in these crimes of the north-eastern Sudan.

The author is an eastern Sudan rights activist

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