Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
Tue, 12/21/2010 - 13:59 — Rob Prince
by Rob Prince
WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia's Arm to Invade Somalia
by Rob Prince
This article previously appeared in Znet.
So How Come We Haven't Stopped It?
John Prendergast, The Washington Post | 19 Nov 2006Early in his first term, President Bush received a National Security Council memo outlining the world's inaction regarding the genocide in Rwanda. In what may have been a burst of indignation and bravado, the president wrote in the margin of the memo, "Not on my watch."
Five years later, and nearly four years into what Bush himself has repeatedly called genocide, the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region is intensifying without a meaningful response from the White House. Perhaps Harvard professor Samantha Power's tongue-in-cheek theory is correct: The memo was inadvertently placed on top of the president's wristwatch, and he didn't want it to happen again. But if Bush's expressions of concern for the victims in Darfur are genuine, then why isn't his administration taking real action?
The answer is one of the great untold stories of this young century, one in which human rights principles clash with post-9/11 counterterrorism imperatives. During my visits to Darfur in the past few months, I've heard testimony from Darfurians that villages are still burned to the ground, women are still gang-raped by Janjaweed militias and civilians are still terrorized by the Sudanese air force's bombings. As Darfur descends further into hell, all signs explaining the United States' pathetic response point to one man: Osama bin Laden.
In the early 1990s, bin Laden lived in Sudan, the guest of the very regime responsible for the Darfur atrocities. At the time, bin Laden's main local interlocutor was an official named Salah Abdallah Gosh. After 9/11, however, Gosh became a more active counterterrorism partner: detaining terrorism suspects and turning them over to the United States; expelling Islamic extremists; and raiding suspected terrorists' homes and handing evidence to the FBI. Gosh's current job as head of security for the government also gives him a lead role in the regime's counterinsurgency strategy, which relies on the Janjaweed militias to destroy non-Arab villages in Darfur.
The deepening intelligence-sharing relationship between Washington and Khartoum blunted any U.S. response to the state-sponsored violence that exploded in Darfur in 2003 and 2004. U.S. officials have told my colleague Colin Thomas-Jensen and me that access to Gosh's information would be jeopardized if the Bush administration confronted Khartoum on Darfur. And since 2001, the administration had been pursuing a peace deal between southern Sudanese rebels and the regime in Khartoum - a deal aimed at placating U.S. Christian groups that had long demanded action on behalf of Christian minorities in southern Sudan. The administration didn't want to undermine that process by hammering Khartoum over Darfur.
The people of Darfur never had a chance.
The term "genocide" became a point of contention in the 2004 presidential campaign, with Democratic candidate John F. Kerry and a united Congress calling on Bush to use it. Finally, on Sept. 9, 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility - and genocide may still be occurring."
Powell continued: "[N]o new action is dictated by this determination. We have been doing everything we can to get the Sudanese government to act responsibly."
Everything? The U.N. convention on genocide - which the United States signed in 1948 and ratified 40 years later - requires signatories to seek to prevent and punish the crime of genocide. But instead of being tried for war crimes, Gosh was flown to Langley last year to be debriefed by CIA officials. As a U.S. official told the Los Angeles Times, "The agency's view was that the Sudanese are helping us on terrorism and it was proud to bring him over. They didn't care about the political implications."
In the eyes of many intelligence officials, Gosh and other Sudanese informants have become more valuable for U.S. counterterrorism objectives over the past six months because of the unfolding political upheaval in Somalia. The CIA has long pursued al-Qaeda affiliates implicated in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa. To this end, Washington began secretly funding warlords in Somalia to pursue terrorism suspects. But this strategy backfired: Somali Islamists have taken control of much of southern Somalia, with hard-liners protecting al-Qaeda affiliates. Many leading Somali Islamists have ties to Gosh, a fact Khartoum exploits to strengthen counterterrorism links with Washington.
U.S. inaction on Darfur has continued in the face of the most energetic campaign by U.S. citizens on an African issue since the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. But so far, mobilization by Christian, Jewish, African American and student groups has failed to move the administration's policy.
Indeed, Washington's constructive engagement with the Sudanese regime is as ineffective and morally bankrupt as the Reagan administration's approach to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During Bush's first term, the State Department wanted increased dialogue with Iraq, Iran and North Korea, but lost out to the Pentagon and Vice President Cheney. As consolation, the department took the lead on Sudan, shifting from the Clinton administration policy of isolation and pressure to one of engagement.
That policy has endured as Darfur continues to burn. Along with Powell, former deputy secretary Robert B. Zoellick and Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, remained staunch advocates for engaging with Khartoum. In August, Frazer told reporters: "We believe that President Bashir and the Sudanese government want peace in Darfur." U.S. government sources have said that administration officials recently offered to lift some unilateral trade and investment sanctions imposed during the Clinton administration and move toward normalizing relations in exchange for Sudan's acceptance of U.N. peacekeepers. Khartoum refused.
Now, as the mayhem in Darfur escalates, Bush may have run out of patience. Administration officials say he regularly complains to national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley that more must be done. But to address both the administration's counterterrorism and human rights goals will require overcoming policy inertia and ignorance about the nature of the Khartoum regime - two requirements perhaps beyond the reach of Bush's current team.
Consider prior efforts to influence the regime in Sudan. In 1995, Sudanese officials were implicated in the attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Responding to the regime's failure to extradite terrorism suspects, the U.N. Security Council imposed travel restrictions on Sudanese officials and sanctions against Sudan Airways. Feeling pressured, the regime dismantled terrorist training camps and revoked passports given to known terrorists. And when the regime faced the prospect of a united armed rebellion in 2005, it signed a deal with southern-based rebels.
Clearly, diplomatic, economic and military pressure can have an impact - both in pursuit of an end to the Darfur crisis and in the ability to access important counterterrorism information.
Last week, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, the United States and other governments moved closer to a deal with Khartoum allowing for a stronger peacekeeping force in Darfur. However, the regime retains control of the timing of new deployments. The likely result is that a few hundred more observers will arrive in the next six months. More peacekeepers will help only if there is a new peace deal and the Janjaweed militias begin to be dismantled.
The problem remains leverage. Possible pressure points include the threat of sanctions on Sudanese companies owned by ruling party officials doing business abroad; capital-market sanctions on foreign firms dealing with the regime; NATO planning to deploy forces to Darfur; and sharing information with the International Criminal Court to accelerate indictments of Khartoum officials for crimes against humanity.
Khartoum has taken the measure of the United States; it understands that from time to time the president may use the word "genocide" and that the State Department may issue a strongly worded statement to mollify religious activists. But walking loudly and carrying a toothpick only emboldens the regime to escalate its attacks in Darfur.
President Clinton often says that the biggest regret he has about his presidency was not responding effectively to the Rwandan genocide. If Bush does not change course, he may someday echo Clinton, lamenting that hundreds of thousands of Darfurian lives were needlessly extinguished - on his watch.
Sent: Saturday, October 5, 2013 3:55 PM
Subject: [PK] Re: [Mabadiliko] Congo-Kinshasa: Open Letter to the UN Security Council From Human Rights Watch On Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo
On 2013-10-05, at 3:54 PM, Judy Miriga <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
We cannot keep waiting indefinately under these circumstance..............as the situations are
Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)
Congo-Kinshasa: Open Letter to the UN Security Council From Human Rights Watch On Human Rights Abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo3 October 2013
New York, October 2, 2013
We write to highlight the alarming human rights situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and ask that you use your visit to the region to help end human rights abuses and impunity for the worst crimes.
For the past year and a half, the Rwandan-backed M23 armed group has summarily executed and raped scores of civilians in eastern Congo, and forcibly recruited men and boys to join its ranks. Those who have spoken out against the M23's abuses have been threatened or killed. Women remain at risk of sexual violence. A woman from Rutshuru told Human Rights Watch researchers just this week how she was raped by an M23 fighter who said to her: "We also had wives, but they stayed in Rwanda. So that's why we rape you." After the woman was raped, the fighter shot her twice in both thighs. A man accused of "collaborating with the enemy" said he and other prisoners were detained in tiny cells crawling with insects, beaten, and forced to stand in human waste while M23 officers poured urine on them.
The M23 is led by some of Congo's most notorious war crimes suspects. In the past the Congolese government has granted them amnesties or offered them senior ranks in the army, sending the message that killing and raping would be rewarded with power and wealth. This time, the government has stated that M23 leaders responsible for serious abuses will not be integrated.
Like other abusive armed groups in eastern Congo in the past, the M23 since its inception has received significant military support from Rwanda, including the deployment of Rwandan army troops to Congo to fight alongside them; weapons, ammunition, and other supplies; training for new M23 recruits; and the forcible recruitment of men and boys in Rwanda, who were then sent across the border to fight for the M23.
Our research indicates that Rwandan support continues. Throughout September, Human Rights Watch received credible accounts from witnesses near the border that armed troops and recruits from Rwanda were moving to Congo to support the M23. The M23 today probably has no more than several hundred Congolese fighters, but it will remain a significant threat to Congolese civilians as long as Rwanda provides military support.
The Congolese army has also been responsible for serious abuses. As soldiers fled the M23's advance on Goma in November 2012, they went on a rampage, raping at least 76 women and girls in and around the town of Minova, South Kivu. In the town of Kitchanga, North Kivu, soldiers from the 812th Regiment, allied with a Tutsi militia they had armed, clashed with a primarily ethnic Hunde armed group from February 27 to March 4, 2013. At least 25 civilians died in the fighting. Most of the civilians killed were Hunde, and many appear to have been targeted by army soldiers because of their ethnicity. To date, no senior army officers have been arrested or prosecuted for these abuses.
As the Congolese army redeployed to focus on the M23, other armed groups, including the FDLR and allied Congolese Hutu militias, filled the vacuum and attacked civilians. Some of the worst abuses in recent months have been by the Nduma Defense of Congo (NDC), a militia group led by Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, who is wanted on a Congolese arrest warrant for crimes against humanity. Sheka's fighters have killed, raped, and mutilated dozens of civilians since May 2013. Just last week, on September 27, they attacked villages in Masisi territory, killing several children, raping women, and burning homes. In 2010, Sheka's troops were part of an alliance of armed groups responsible for the mass rape of nearly 400 men, women, and children in Walikale.
We urge that Security Council members take the following actions:
Ensure that any agreement with the M23 or other armed groups does not provide amnesty or allow for integration into the army of individuals responsible for serious human rights abuses.
Adopt a Security Council resolution requiring that Rwanda end all support to the M23, and imposing sanctions on senior Rwandan officials responsible for such support.
Call on MONUSCO and the Congolese government to respond to threats to civilians posed by the M23 and other armed groups. Particular attention should be given to Sheka's NDC rebellion, and efforts should be made to arrest Sheka.
Urge the Congolese government to appropriately prosecute security force officials found responsible for war crimes and other abuses, including those responsible for the mass rapes around Minova and the violence in Kitchanga.
Support the Congolese government in the establishment of a vetting mechanism to remove and exclude those responsible for serious human rights abuses from the Congolese security forces.
My colleagues, including those based in Congo, would be happy to discuss these issues further with you or members of your staff.
Kenneth Roth Philippe Bolopion
Executive Director United Nations Director
Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC)
Central Africa: UN Security Council - Address Rights Abuses in DR Congo - Council Members to Visit Great Lakes Region3 October 2013
New York — United Nations Security Council members should use their visit to the Great Lakes region of Central Africa to help end human rights abuses and impunity for the worst crimes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Security Council members sent on October 2, 2013. Security Council members are to leave on October 3 for a 6-day trip to Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
"Civilians in eastern Congo have suffered atrocities without end, but very few of those responsible are ever brought to justice," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director. "Security Council members should use their visit to press governments in the region to end all support for abusive armed groups and to arrest war crimes suspects."
The Security Council should adopt a resolution requiring Rwanda to end all support to the M23, an abusive armed group responsible for numerous atrocities in eastern Congo, and imposing sanctions on senior Rwandan officials behind the support.
A woman from Rutshuru told Human Rights Watch researchers this week that she was raped by an M23 rebel fighter who said to her, "We also had wives, but they stayed in Rwanda. So that's why we rape you." After the woman was raped, the fighter shot her in both thighs.
The Congolese government and the M23 have held faltering peace talks in Kampala, Uganda, since December 2012. Past agreements between the Congolese government and other armed groups have allowed rebel commanders responsible for grave abuses to be rewarded and integrated into the Congolese army. Many of these commanders then carried out further atrocities against civilians while officers in the Congolese army and later created new rebellions.
The UN peacekeeping mission in Congo, MONUSCO, should make every effort to protect civilians from the most urgent threats the M23 and other armed groups pose for civilians. It should give particular attention to Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka's militia group, whose fighters have killed, raped, and mutilated dozens of civilians since May 2013. On September 27, they attacked a series of villages in Masisi territory, killing several children, raping women, and burning homes.
Congolese army soldiers have also been responsible for serious abuses, including raping at least 76 women and girls in and around Minova, South Kivu province, in November 2012. Security Council members should press the Congolese government to investigate, arrest, and appropriately prosecute security force officials found responsible for war crimes and other serious human rights abuses.
m23-rebels...The armed conflict in eastern Congo is bound by international ... the M23 told Human Rights Watch ... Human Rights Watch received several reports that ...
UN extends aid to Rwanda despite HRW
report on M23 atrocities ...www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/07/28/ 18740571.php Cached
On Monday, Human Rights Watch published another report documenting atrocities committed by Rwanda's M23 militia in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Human Rights Watch has issued a report documenting recent executions and rapes by the M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as .........
UNJHRO report on Human Rights violations by FARDC and M23 in Goma, Sake, and around Minova. 15 Nov - 2 Dec 2012
New report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the ... The increase in gross human rights violations during the period under ... (M23), and to ...
IILHR Reports on the Documentation, Human Rights, ... the Kurdish Regional Government, and the international community.
... M23 has been responsible for human rights abuses “including ... The International Federation of Human Rights has warned of a ... [This report does not ...
Human Right Report: Kagame’s War Crimes by M23 rebels in Congo. ... are horrendous to millions of innocent Congolese, the International Human Rights Watch Dog, ...
The intervention brigade should have a clear mandate to arrest people wanted on international ... They told Human Rights Watch the M23 had ... afraid to report being ...
(Goma) – M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are responsible for widespread war crimes, including summary executions, rapes, and forced ...
The call comes on the heels of a Human Rights Watch report documenting rapes and executions by the rebel group in North Kivu province of eastern Congo.
Global Advocacy Report: The M23 and the
Crisis in Goma, the ...globalministries.org/news/africa/M23- and-Crisis-Goma.html Cached Human Rights Watch reports ... Eyewitnesses and UN investigators have attested that Rwandan armed forces directly assisted M23 in the takeover. The international ...
Newly documented human rights violations in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) include cases of arbitrary executions and rape – among other atrocities ...
Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2076, Demands Immediate Withdrawal of ‘M23’ Rebels from Key Congolese City, End to ‘Any and All’ Outside Support
The call comes on the heels of a Human Rights Watch report documenting rapes and executions by the rebel group in North Kivu province of eastern Congo.
violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, ... violations committed by the M23 and the FARDC outlined in this report, and to prosecute
Although the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights asked the civil ... interview with an M23 spokesperson. Top of page International ... International Report ...
M23 rebels in Congo's eastern region. The Human Righgs Watch has released a report detailing the human rights abuses and gender-based violence endemic in the region.