Sudanese Genocide essay

Submitted By Antonette-Wilson
Words: 1218
Pages: 5

The term “genocide” was created by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. Before 1944, “genocide” was a crime without a name which meant nobody could be charged for committing a crime that did not exist legally. Today, the word genocide has a working definition. A working definition means that for every situation the definition may change based on the circumstances of that specific genocide. According to the United Nations, the definition of genocide is “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." The UN also acknowledges that the terms of genocide are not exclusive to the situations they have listed, thus they mention in further detail the types of situations that they are referring to both in depth and general. In 2003, the horrible events began taking place in Darfur, Sudan. When the situation in Darfur is analyzed, parts of the UN definition of genocide can be seen clearly. For example, in the book Tears of the Desert, Halima Bashir was a Zaghawa doctor that was punished by government officials for her determination to help both races of people wounded from the war. Halima was first threatened, she was later taken away and gang raped by soldiers. The soldiers intentionally left Halima to live and told her now that she knew what rape is she could go back to her village and tell them what rape is, they also told her she could go and live her life now. After these events, Halima fled to London and stayed in a shelter where she began experiencing flashbacks of the rape as well as the wounds she saw, this then began to take a psychological toll on her. When these men went into villages and terrorized people, they left a few members to live which in turn can be considered genocide. “...causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group...” is exactly what was done to many people and exactly what is happening to many people. The Janjaweed is an Arab militia that was unleashed by the Sudanese government to respond to the rebel movements that were fighting against the government. “The devil on horseback” is the Arab translation of Janjaweed and that is exactly what many victims would consider them to be. These men would ride on horseback or camelback throughout villages in Darfur, they would burn villages, murder men and women, rape women and children, and torture these civilians. Not only would these men murder people, they would also throw dead bodies into wells and rivers in order to pollute the water and therefore take away the most vital necessity from people. According to the UN, acts of genocide include but are not exclusive to “...deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part...” By throwing bloody bodies into wells and rivers, the Janjaweed wanted to contaminate it and make sure the people in villages would not have any clean drinking water. This is a sure indication that the extermination of the Black-Africans in Sudan was indeed a goal of the Janjaweed. In 1996, Gregory H. Stanton wrote the 8 stages of genocide at the Department of State. Classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination, and denial are all the steps that genocide follows. These steps have been used by the UN and other authorities to examine situations that they believe to be genocides. If the genocide follows these stages and there is evidence of them, the situation may be labelled genocide.
Classification is when categories are formed to create the “us” and “them”. In the…