WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nothing has changed in Sudan since the United States labeled atrocities against non-Arab villagers in the country’s Darfur region a “genocide” more than a decade ago, proclaimed an activist at a congressional panel.
“Most of you are aware of the genocide that took place in Darfur — the U.S. government has recognized it as genocide,” said Ibrahim Ahmed, president of the U.S.-based Beja Organization for Human Rights and community leader of the indigenous Beja people in eastern Sudan.
Ibrahim Ahmed el Beja presenting on the status of genocide in Darfur and other areas in Sudan at a Congressional… https://t.co/sTHo9t9jxL
— Walid Phares (@WalidPhares) March 17, 2017
Besides incidents in Darfur, he noted, genocide “still continues” in other parts of Sudan and South Sudan.
“Right now, the genocide still continues in Darfur. The genocide still continues in Nuba Mountains. The genocide still continues in the Blue Nile and the world is silent,” he declared. “Nobody thinks right now about Darfur. Nobody thinks about the war in South Sudan… the genocide also in eastern Sudan against the Beja people.”
“My point is I just want the Americans and the free world just to remember the genocide in Darfur — nothing changed since the U.S. declared a genocide there,” added Ahmed.
The activist’s comments came during a congressional briefing Thursday hosted by Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) along with Dr. Walid Phares, a national security expert who served as a foreign affairs adviser to President Donald Trump.
In September 2004, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell for the first time declared that genocide had taken place in Sudan and blamed the government and government-sponsored Arab militias known as Janjaweed “for rapes, killings and other abuses that have left 1.2 million black Africans homeless,” reported the Washington Post (WaPo).
“We concluded — I concluded — 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 told lawmakers.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who came to power in 1989, for seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crime, including genocide in connection to the deadly events in Darfur.
“People who committed the genocide are still free,” noted Ahmed. “They are not in trouble. Bashir is still running the government and is free.”
Despite President Bashir’s alleged links to genocide, “the U.S. government wants to reward him by lifting sanctions and by normalizing their relation with this genocidal regime,” added the activist, a supporter of President Trump.
In the last days of his administration, former President Barack Obama reportedly made the decision to lift sanctions imposed against Sudan since 1997 for supporting terrorism and since 2003 for grow human rights violations in Darfur.
Obama also made the decision to open up trade with the genocidal regime.
Nevertheless, soon after the administration announced the move in January 2017, Reuters quoted Sudan’s foreign minister as saying, “the Obama administration’s preliminary decision to ease sanctions on Sudan came with the full approval of the incoming Trump administration and after months of secret meetings.”
The congressional panel was held Thursday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Department of State’s declaration that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has committed genocide against ethnoreligious minority groups in the Middle East.