GENOCIDE APPEASEMENT WATCH. In mid-February, I obtained a confidential annex to a United Nations report on Sudan�s progress -- or more accurately, lack there of -- towards peace in Darfur. The annex named the 17 men most responsible for keeping Darfur in a state of perpetual violence and misery, and recommended that they have their assets frozen and be placed under an international travel ban. Of the 17, many were high level Sudanese government officials. One name in particular, Sallah Abdala Gosh, stood out.
Gosh leads Sudan�s Security and Intelligence Services and is the Himmler-esque organizational mastermind of the Darfur genocide. He is also a known US intelligence asset. So when I obtained the annex and saw his name, I argued that whether or not the US pushes to include his name on a final list of officials to be sanctioned would be a test for how seriously this administration takes the genocide in Darfur.
Last night, the administration failed that test, horribly.
Evelyn Leopold of Reuters reports:
The United States is opposing the inclusion of any Sudanese official on a potential U.N. Security Council sanctions list of individuals blocking peace in Darfur, two diplomats said on Wednesday.
Britain and other nations on a council sanctions committee have recommended a list of eight names of people including some government officials who would be subject to a travel ban and an assets freeze. All 15 council nations have to approve�.
Washington expects to include names of government officials in the future, a U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. It wants to be able to gradually increase pressure on Sudan and to make sure there is a solid case against any people on the sanctions list, he said.
Richard Grenell, spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said, "Stay tuned."
"Although it is a bit too early to talk about specific names, the next action will be a down payment for the full purchase of justice and accountability," Grenell said.
It�s too early to talk about specific names? Please.
The genocide has been continuing apace for over three years. Two UN teams have collected information in the field. The first, conducted under the auspices of a UN Commission of Inquiry into suspected crimes against humanity, yielded 51 names. (These were eventually forwarded to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.) A year later, the annex I obtained -- assembled by a panel of human rights investigators working on the ground in Sudan -- produced 17 names.
The US is obviously uncomfortable with the idea of holding accountable those who have committed genocide in Darfur. So long as this is the case, a culture of impunity will inform the actions of the Sudanese aggressors. It�s no coincidence that the genocide is spilling over into Chad. There has not been any consequence for Khartoum�s counter-insurgency by genocide in Darfur, so why not invade Chad and burn a few towns there?
So, dear reader, do you feel that righteous outrage coursing through your veins? Do you need an outlet to channel your frustrations? Why not subscribe to TAP!
--Mark Leon Goldberg