International Community Shouldn’t Commit The Irreparable in Darfur

 

Thirteen years ago, the international community declared that genocide was taking place in Darfur. However, the UN dismissed the concerns of the US Congress and the European Parliament, while grudgingly recognising merely that atrocities were taking place in the western region of Sudan. Consequently, peacekeepers were dispatched to protect civilians.

 

Today, the UN is again misleading the international community by defending its plan to cut by nearly half the existing peacekeeping force, which will undoubtedly put millions of civilian lives at risk. This decision is based on the very UN lies, deceit and cover-ups that I witnessed when I served as the spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) between August 2012 and April 2013.

 

During the eight months I served in Darfur, I saw how UNAMID‘s leadership perpetuated the Big Lie: its first chief, the Congolese politician Rodolphe Adada, declared in 2009 that Darfur’s war was over. Supported by the department of peacekeeping operations (DPKO) based in New York, UNAMID chiefs and senior managers covered up Khartoum’s horrendous crimes by reducing the war in Darfur to a “counter-insurgency conflict” opposing the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels. This deception allowed them to hide the other and most devastating war, the one the Arab-supremacist regime of Omar al-Bashir has been waging against Darfur civilians, mostly of non-Arab origins, for over a decade now.

 

For years, UNAMID and DPKO used every trick to conceal the truth about the deliberate government bombing, mass killings and forced displacement of unarmed civilians from the ethnic Zaghawa, Fur and Massalit populations. UNAMID and DPKO kept silent too about the systematic mass rape of women and girls, and many other atrocities that they were carefully documenting, including the government-orchestrated massacre of Arab nomads in Khartoum’s gold war in Jebel Amer.

 

Throughout my time in Darfur, I also witnessed how UNAMID chiefs and their counterparts in New York concealed the fact that the Sudanese government, instead of disarming the infamous Janjaweed militias as demanded by the UN Security Council resolution 1556 (2004), had brazenly transformed, super-armed, and re-branded them as the Rapid Support Forces, an even more lethal force under the command of the country’s notoriously vicious intelligence services.

 

Refusing to be part of the UN’s conspiracy against innocent civilians, I resigned my post, putting an end to my 10 year UN career to expose the UN cover-up. My testimony, supported by a Foreign Policy investigation, prompted the International Criminal Court to call on the then UN chief, Ban Ki-moon to conduct a “thorough, independent and public inquiry.” Instead, Ban set up an in-house review that found that UNAMID routinely concealed from the UN headquarters evidence revealing the responsibility of Sudanese government forces for deadly attacks against civilians and peacekeepers. Yet, despite a plethora of incriminating facts, Ban’s review insisted that there was no evidence of an intentional cover-up.

 

Thirteen years ago, the international community declared that genocide was taking place in Darfur. However, the UN dismissed the concerns of the US Congress and the European Parliament, while grudgingly recognising merely that atrocities were taking place in the western region of Sudan. Consequently, peacekeepers were dispatched to protect civilians.

 

Today, the UN is again misleading the international community by defending its plan to cut by nearly half the existing peacekeeping force, which will undoubtedly put millions of civilian lives at risk. This decision is based on the very UN lies, deceit and cover-ups that I witnessed when I served as the spokesperson for the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) between August 2012 and April 2013.

 

During the eight months I served in Darfur, I saw how UNAMID‘s leadership perpetuated the Big Lie: its first chief, the Congolese politician Rodolphe Adada, declared in 2009 that Darfur’s war was over. Supported by the department of peacekeeping operations (DPKO) based in New York, UNAMID chiefs and senior managers covered up Khartoum’s horrendous crimes by reducing the war in Darfur to a “counter-insurgency conflict” opposing the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels. This deception allowed them to hide the other and most devastating war, the one the Arab-supremacist regime of Omar al-Bashir has been waging against Darfur civilians, mostly of non-Arab origins, for over a decade now.

 

For years, UNAMID and DPKO used every trick to conceal the truth about the deliberate government bombing, mass killings and forced displacement of unarmed civilians from the ethnic Zaghawa, Fur and Massalit populations. UNAMID and DPKO kept silent too about the systematic mass rape of women and girls, and many other atrocities that they were carefully documenting, including the government-orchestrated massacre of Arab nomads in Khartoum’s gold war in Jebel Amer.

 

Throughout my time in Darfur, I also witnessed how UNAMID chiefs and their counterparts in New York concealed the fact that the Sudanese government, instead of disarming the infamous Janjaweed militias as demanded by the UN Security Council resolution 1556 (2004), had brazenly transformed, super-armed, and re-branded them as the Rapid Support Forces, an even more lethal force under the command of the country’s notoriously vicious intelligence services.

 

Refusing to be part of the UN’s conspiracy against innocent civilians, I resigned my post, putting an end to my 10 year UN career to expose the UN cover-up. My testimony, supported by a Foreign Policy investigation, prompted the International Criminal Court to call on the then UN chief, Ban Ki-moon to conduct a “thorough, independent and public inquiry.” Instead, Ban set up an in-house review that found that UNAMID routinely concealed from the UN headquarters evidence revealing the responsibility of Sudanese government forces for deadly attacks against civilians and peacekeepers. Yet, despite a plethora of incriminating facts, Ban’s review insisted that there was no evidence of an intentional cover-up.

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(c) 2017 HuffPost - HPMG News

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