Friday, October 08, 2004

The UN "acts" over Sudan

The UN is doing something, sort of:

A five-member panel to investigate whether genocide has taken place in Darfur has been appointed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The commission includes human rights and legal experts from Peru, Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana and is chaired by Italian law professor Antonio Cassese, who was president of the UN war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia from 1993-1997. (BBC)

This highlights the different mindsets of the UN and the US. Powell did not hesitate to state that genocide had occurred. Of course it is important to respect international laws/protocol for defining genocide, and Powell probably had some political motive for his decisive rhetoric, but really, does it need three months?

It seems that as long as the UN follows the law, such as it is, it is of less concern how much people suffer. Are the perpetrators of the murders in Sudan going to stop because the UN has sent five people there on an academic fact finding mission? Are those families and individuals who have lost loved ones going to gain satisfaction from the knowledge that despite the possibility of continued attacks, someone might be bought to justice some time in the future by foreigners?

I know I wouldn't. I would want the foreigners to stop the violence not observe and document it.


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